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Old 11-14-2017, 01:19 PM
 
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I've always been interested in my family history. Two other relatives have created a family tree for my maternal grandfather's line, and I'd like to start looking for information about other branches. What's your favorite program / software for genealogy research?

Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:07 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
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Family Tree Maker at Family Tree Maker

Been using it for over 15 years now, and have only scratched the surface of its capabilities.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Do you mean software for building a tree, or websites for doing research? There's a big difference. Family tree software isn't a resource for records and documents - it just allows you to organize the data and records you find elsewhere.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Do you mean software for building a tree, or websites for doing research? There's a big difference. Family tree software isn't a resource for records and documents - it just allows you to organize the data and records you find elsewhere.
Hm. Then I guess I need both. I want to find out more about my family that immigrated here (most relatives immigrated between 1890-1912). And I need a means of organizing and tracking the data I find.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
Hm. Then I guess I need both. I want to find out more about my family that immigrated here (most relatives immigrated between 1890-1912). And I need a means of organizing and tracking the data I find.
Most record websites like Ancestry.com will provide an internal family tree tool so you can build your tree on their site, in the cloud. It is a good option to start with and if you later want to buy desktop software, there are certain options that will sync with certain online trees.

Ancestry.com is the biggest genealogy records database on the internet. It's not cheap, but it's worth it, in my opinion, and if it's too expensive, you can usually use it for free at your library. You can build your tree there, and if you want to purchase either Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic, they will both sync with your online Ancestry.com tree.

FamilySearch.org is a great free records resource, but be aware their family tree is a universal tree, which means it allows anyone and everyone to add and edit to the people and data you add. Your tree is not "your" tree, it's everyone's tree. I would not advise having your sole/working tree there, you never know how someone might mess it up. If you decide not to go the Ancestry.com root and just stick to FamilySearch - I would definitely buy software to build your tree offline. Many options will work with FamilySearch like Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, and Legacy.

These are the best resources and the best software that pairs with them, in my opinion. There are other resources, some which are good in addition to these, but you likely won't need them right away and which ones to go with may depend on your research.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
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For the family tree software program that resides on your computer, I highly recommend RootsMagic. It is very intuitive yet powerful.

As for online research, I agree with PA2UK, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are the best sites. FamilySearch is free, and Ancestry is not anywhere close to free! But they are both useful. If you do not want to pay for Ancestry, your library may have it for free as PA2UK mentioned. If you have a laptop, you could check with your library to see if you can access their Ancestry license via their WiFi on your laptop. Then you could interface with Ancestry directly from RootsMagic on your laptop.

Otherwise, I would recommend just writing down what you find on Ancestry and FamilySearch, I do not like sharing my info on these sites. Also note that there are a lot of errors in the data on these sites. Some of it is uploaded by other users who were careless other data is derived from people looking at the actual records but make errors in the transcription process. Fortunately, most of my research was conducted before these sites existed, so I had to do it the old fashioned way - looking through LDS microfilms of old church books, etc. So if there is any mistakes, I have nobody to blame but myself!
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