Or "Rednecks, Free Software and Filling in the Charts"
by Uncle Hiram
The longer you do genealogy, the more you realize that you really need a good genealogy program. Now, there are several dozen really good programs out there on the market, ranging in price from free, to well over a hundred bucks. Personally, I use three programs: Family Origins, Family Tree Maker and Legacy. I started out using Family Origins, which is an excellent program, very easy to use, with lots of good forms and functions.
Next, I tried Family Tree Maker, the big dog on the genealogical market. Their forms are far superior to the ones in Family Origins and the book option is probably the best one I have seen. I have two major hang-ups with FTM (Family Tree Maker), the price of the upgrades and their habit of selling other people's research on World Family Tree CD's.
Just for the record, I want to say right up front, I believe a company should be allowed to make a profit from the sales of their software, but I think the practice of selling research that was donated to FTM is disgraceful.
About six months ago, I decided to try a new program: Legacy's Family Tree Genealogy program. The Program meets my first objective price: its FREE. You can download it at (http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/). The program is extremely easy to run. The Sourcing set up on Legacy 3.0 is far superior to anything I have seen with any other program. It's ease of use and ability to delete every reference to a source is wonderful. The reason this feature is a plus. is because with a lot of programs when you merge a gedcom into it, there is a Source citation placed on every bit of information.
When the source is a book, that's great, but when the source is a gedcom you really don't want it listed on every fact. It allows you to put in an unlimited number of alternate names and events. This is a great feature because it allows you to list every single item you find on each person. The people search function is set up to let you search for an individual, or for any subset of people. For instance, you can search for John Doe, or all the descendants of John Doe.
The following is a list of the Misc. Searches you can use with this program:
You can attach multiple Photo's or Sound files to an individual, which is a real fun feature. There are numerous other features that make this program a blast to use. If you buy the Deluxe version ($24.95), you can also view two Family tree's at the same time to compare them. This feature alone is worth the price of the upgrade. If you are just starting to use a genealogical program, or you are not happy with the one you are using now, I would strongly recommend giving this program a try. Download the free version of it and when you discover how much fun and how easy it is to use, you are going to want the Deluxe version.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)