Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My Very Best 2011 Research Adventure

My best 2011 research adventure was not actually a research adventure. It was more of a software exploration adventure. For many, many, years I used the Master Genealogist. But as I started going to conferences and participating more in the genealogy world, I noticed other products that had slicker interfaces and more features that appealed to me. I also began paying more attention to source citation. I had always included most of the information I needed (thankfully) but I just used the templates and didn't pay much attention to how it was formatted. Now I am trying to use Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills as my guideline.

In 2011 I tried Family Tree Maker 2011, Legacy Family Tree 7.5 and RootsMagic 4/5. I also dabbled briefly with Gramps (the Windows version).

I have the vast majority of my exhibits digitized, and at one time they were linked in my TMG file. However, at some point those links got lost and weren't backed up, even though I do back up often. Even more now.

So I spent 2011 trying out software. It didn't take me long to pare it down to Legacy or RootsMagic, and both are excellent.  And I went back and forth more than once. To a large extent, it is just a personal preference. You may very well prefer a different program. Once Rootsmagic 5 came out, I switched for good. I am now in the process of re-citing and re-linking my sources and exhibits. I'm also doing more online research along the way since new sources are online. My goal is to get my database back in shape, and then start making research plans for some of my ancestors along with ordering films and making research trips to see the original records in some cases.

I may still regret my decision on citations. I love that I can use templates, and that RootsMagic allows me to create my own if I disagree with the templates built into the program. However, there will be a problem if I ever want to use a gedcom to export my data. But I will go this path for now because it is quicker. Once (if ever) I get done then I may slowly (for some lines or direct ancestors) copy the template generated citations into the basic citation form, that I believe does export.

Wish me luck on finishing this project this year. Hopefully I will procrastinate a lot less.

I have no affiliations with any of the products mentioned.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to hear of your exploration of available software. So, what is it about Legacy and RootsMagic that made you like them? Are they very intuitive or is it the citation of sources that you liked?