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    Family tree/genealogy software - do you use it?

    There are often questions on here about software and I thought it would be interesting to see if everyone uses software, and what they use,

    I subscribe to
    Ancestry (tree on it)
    Findmypast (just for searching)

    software
    FTM (2017)
    RootsMagic

    I currently keep my tree up to date on Ancestry and then synch to Family tree Maker, I really don't use software much and it is really just a back up. I have no need to print reports, did a few years ago for parents, at the time never really liked their reports and found them a bit restrictive in options. RootsMagic still seems easier for reporting.

    Never tried any other software, and I have not made use of the cloud on rootsmagic which is included like I think latest version of FTM.
    Carolyn
    Family Tree site

    Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
    Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

    #2
    I have my tree on Ancestry and a back up on FTM 2017. However, I don't find the latter very user friendly and have been interested in the Roots Magic 8 Platinum. Had the free trial version and think that this will work. Just not done anything with it due to time and research on current tree.

    I have printed out family sheets from Ancestry and put this into a referenced paper file with the paid for certificates etc. Am now thinking that I should just scan all the documents and add these to my Ancestry tree. However, I am wary that if for any reason I stopped using Ancestry I could lose some very important information, even if I exported it elsewhere. Need to check this out further.

    Comment


      #3
      I use Family Historian and have done since 2002 and upload a version of the master tree to Ancestry and my own website (using TNG) when the mood takes me.

      I tried FTM 2017 when it first came out because of the syncing opportunities and decided it was a very costly failed experiment as it didn't do half of what I could do with FH and because of the way I work through the FH diagrams I found that limiting in FTM too.

      I also looked at Legacy and Roots Magic but came back to FH every time.

      I always have subs to findmypast and ancestry. I have tree only for MyHeritage and also one to The Genealogist at the moment, the former for DNA use, the latter because of some of the unique record sets they have.
      Caroline
      Caroline's Family History Pages
      Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

      Comment


        #4
        I had FTM 2005 which I found easy to use but it stopped working properly so I got FTM 2017 but don't really understand it so haven't looked at it for months. Thought I'd get Family Historian instead but don't really understand how it works either so have pretty much given up on both, I suppose I ought to persevere though I maintain my Ancestry tree and have a sub there & to Find My Past though began a FMP tree but find it too clunky to bother with.

        Most of my research these days is on my local history project or will transcription and not on my own family tree except for the DNA stuff.

        Comment


          #5
          I have a few trees uploaded as gedcoms to ancestry. All private but searchable apart from two or three. I never build a tree in ancestry, tried it for a cousin to get him started and it drove me nuts. I never synch with anything, anywhere. Each time I do work on my trees I upload a copy to Dropbox replacing the old version. Tree building in FindMyPast is even worse and useless for finding matches.

          I have world subs to both ancestry and FindMyPast. Hubby funds the latter as an annual Christmas prezzie and I pay for the ancestry.

          I took a DNA test at ancestry in 2017 and the following year at 23andme as they are mutually exclusive and I uploaded to ftDNA, LivingDNA and MyHeritage. Also to GEDmatch. My data is still on the latter but after all the issues at that site, it’s of much less use to me now as so many people have either removed their data or just not bothered to login and fix their privacy options. Also some of the original standard tools are now moved to the pay monthly option.

          Software: I was a dyed in the wool FTM user right from the early days of diskettes from. Broderbund. I bought 2006 by which time another company had bought the software out. Then ancestry took over. I upgraded to 2008 and it was a total disaster. Once I had registered it in order to use the bundled 6 months world ancestry sub, 2008 came right back off again and the disk went in the bin. The final version I bought was 2017 but it wasn’t easy to use. It’s still installed but I still use my trusty old 2006 every day.
          I have tried RootsMagic but did not get on with it as the layout was too cluttered.
          I now have Family Historian installed but am not using it yet as my original main tree is such a mess that I am working to fix all my mistakes (self taught and acquired many bad and substandard habits). Once it is all sorted out, I will import to FH and FTM will be out of my life forever.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
            I had FTM 2005 which I found easy to use but it stopped working properly so I got FTM 2017 but don't really understand it so haven't looked at it for months. Thought I'd get Family Historian instead but don't really understand how it works either so have pretty much given up on both, I suppose I ought to persevere though I maintain my Ancestry tree and have a sub there & to Find My Past though began a FMP tree but find it too clunky to bother with.

            Most of my research these days is on my local history project or will transcription and not on my own family tree except for the DNA stuff.
            There’s a very good FH User Group found through the software website. Very helpful folks on it and I have found quite a few useful help topics that I have saved ready for the big flitting from FTM.

            Comment


              #7
              Hello, geek here! I use both Family Historian and Ancestry but I don't upload or synch anything. I work on the both together and add to one and then the other at the same session. I made the decision that having a public Ancestry tree was the best way to make sure my research outlived me. I wasn't happy with how the Gedcom file uploaded to Ancestry so over the last few years I have systematically worked through every person on my trees checking and embellishing both on Ancestry and FH.

              Once I had done that both OH and I had DNA tests and now I am working through those results, which often involve adding new swathes distant cousins. Again, one by one on both FH and Ancestry. Thank goodness for lockdown which has given me lots of time haha!

              Anne

              Comment


                #8
                great insights, and very interesting.
                Carolyn
                Family Tree site

                Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                Comment


                  #9
                  I use an old version of FH, tho I started with PAF. I have trees on Ancestry that are mostly there to simplify gathering data and records. I also have a TNG site (might take it down soon) and I have some lines on WikiTree. FH is "my tree" tho.

                  When I started with FH, I took a bare bones skeleton tree from PAF and uploaded to FH. Then I entered the records into FH. It was very good thing to do. The errors that I had made as a beginner straightened out, the records were (more) properly loaded, and it made me more familiar with the information.
                  ------------------------------------------------------
                  My Families
                  London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by PhotoFamily View Post
                    I use an old version of FH, tho I started with PAF. I have trees on Ancestry that are mostly there to simplify gathering data and records. I also have a TNG site (might take it down soon) and I have some lines on WikiTree. FH is "my tree" tho.

                    When I started with FH, I took a bare bones skeleton tree from PAF and uploaded to FH. Then I entered the records into FH. It was very good thing to do. The errors that I had made as a beginner straightened out, the records were (more) properly loaded, and it made me more familiar with the information.
                    Yes, I very much agree that it is a very good idea to revisit all your tree on a systematic basis. You'll find mistakes you made in the beginning but even better, you'll find many more records available on line nowadays. It sounds a bit boring but in fact it has been very engrossing!
                    Anne

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a love / hate relationship with FTM . The bits that I have understood and mastered are great but the more I learn the more I want to understand and it sometimes feels like a bit of a struggle to get simple tasks to run smoothly. I have spent many many hours on some of it, partly because I enjoy the challenge of learning something new and making it work. I don’t like being defeated! One of my issues is the way it syncs with Ancestry which on the surface is great but, if you like to keep things tidy like me, the way it duplicates or doesn’t duplicate sources and citations is an absolutely confusing nightmare!

                      BUT having read all your comments, I might have a look at some other software and see if it is easier.

                      Might have a look at Family Historian?
                      Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Gardengirl View Post

                        Might have a look at Family Historian?
                        Well, no time like the present and they have a 30 day free trial so I have downloaded it and made a start. It all seemed a bit mind boggling at first but I read some help pages and watched some video tutorials and so far I'm very happy. I haven't tried any complicated stuff yet but decided to start rebuilding my husband's tree from scratch so I can learn the correct way to add sources, citations etc. I really like the automatic citation option and the 'witnesses' feature - although it is beyond me why they couldn't think of a better name for that than 'witnesses'! 'Others involved' or 'Others present' would have done just as well.

                        Anyway, very happy so far so thanks to the previous commenters on this thread for planting the seed of an idea. I think FTM might be redundant soon on my computer

                        Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gardengirl View Post

                          Well, no time like the present and they have a 30 day free trial so I have downloaded it and made a start. It all seemed a bit mind boggling at first but I read some help pages and watched some video tutorials and so far I'm very happy. I haven't tried any complicated stuff yet but decided to start rebuilding my husband's tree from scratch so I can learn the correct way to add sources, citations etc. I really like the automatic citation option and the 'witnesses' feature - although it is beyond me why they couldn't think of a better name for that than 'witnesses'! 'Others involved' or 'Others present' would have done just as well.

                          Anyway, very happy so far so thanks to the previous commenters on this thread for planting the seed of an idea. I think FTM might be redundant soon on my computer
                          Don’t forget to read the help files if you intend to import your old FTM tree as a gedcom into FH. Due to the way FTM handles certain things, you need to perform various actions on the FTM tree first before importing. As my current FTM is so full of errors that need fixing, it will be a long time yet before I will be at the import stage but I have downloaded the necessary help files ready for the big day.
                          I know I could just start all over again but there’s too many people with very full details to contemplate that. I’d lose the will to live if I started from scratch.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I found it well worth working through the sample family so you cover different sorts of features.
                            Anne

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by GallowayLass View Post

                              Don’t forget to read the help files if you intend to import your old FTM tree as a gedcom into FH. Due to the way FTM handles certain things, you need to perform various actions on the FTM tree first before importing. As my current FTM is so full of errors that need fixing, it will be a long time yet before I will be at the import stage but I have downloaded the necessary help files ready for the big day.
                              I know I could just start all over again but there’s too many people with very full details to contemplate that. I’d lose the will to live if I started from scratch.
                              Thanks for that, GL, I wouldn't have known about that. Where are the help files? Is it on their website or in the software?

                              I started with my husband's tree because it is relatively small and manageable but I don't fancy starting my own tree from scratch ! By the time I have got his sorted I might feel comfortable enough to transfer mine via Gedcom. I've got a long way to go yet though before I'm ready for that.
                              Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                              Comment


                                #16
                                is the GEDCOM better from Ancestry if that is the 'same'? or is it in fact the same!
                                Carolyn
                                Family Tree site

                                Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Good question! Not a clue what the answer is though
                                  Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Gardengirl View Post
                                    Thanks for that, GL, I wouldn't have known about that. Where are the help files? Is it on their website or in the software?
                                    I think it’s the website. Hang on till I go look.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Here you go gardengirl and take a look at the plugins section as well. Some very interesting things in there - many additions written by users themselves to make tasks etc. better.
                                      fhug = Family Historian Users Group. Free to join.

                                      https://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/doku.ph...ily_tree_maker

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Brilliant! Thank you very much
                                        Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                                        Comment

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