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Old February 21 2013, 10:16 AM   #1
Candlelight
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Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Been about five years since I've been into this, changed computers, my old software doesn't run anymore, I have a Mac (though have access to a PC).

I have signed up to MyHeritage and am probing around Ancestry.com as well. If I start generating a tree online can I export it out, or do I need a specific program? Or can I just export out a GEDCOM file?

Or would it be better to create a tree locally then 'upload' it later?

I just want to enter all the data once (I have 150 people in my tree already) and don't really want to double up.

99% of my family are known to come from England, although recently I found I'm 1/8th Irish, so that'll be another branch I'll be investigating too.
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Old February 21 2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Pretty much any site/program you use can handle a simple GEDCOM file. Though, when you save/export from that other program, be sure you save as a gedcom file. Otherwise, you run the risk of it saving in its native format, which doesn't necessarily mean it will be readable from somewhere else.

Ancestry is the 800 pound gorilla. It's popular because so many people use it, which makes it popular. They love to "nickle and dime" their users, so be prepared for that.

Most libraries give you the ability to search a version of ancestry for free, but it's extremely limited, and you pretty much have to know exactly what you're looking for. General searches are useless.

Depending on your area, you may have other resources available. In my area, there are two family research centers. One is run by the Mormon church. I'm not sure who the other is run by. As I understand it, they both give full free access to pretty much any gen. site out there.
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Old February 22 2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

I used Legacy 6.0 to do my family tree. They're up to 7.5 now. There's a free version & a deluxe edition.

I had the paid deluxe edition at the time (about 5 years ago) due to it having more options than the free version. It's $30 for the current download version.

It had everything I needed including the ability to do pre-made web pages.

I've had paid subscriptions to Ancestry.com a couple times. Not for quite a few years, I think it's about time to get another subscription. New information tends to show up over time.
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Old February 22 2013, 04:50 AM   #4
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

I've been using Gramps, a freeware I found online. I've built up a complete family tree 5 generations without paying for subscriptions to any genealogy databases.
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Old February 22 2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

A second cousin contacted my family, through ancestry.com. He gave me access to the tree he's been working on. I have only guest access. Is it possible to add his tree to mine?
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Old February 22 2013, 05:26 AM   #6
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

My aunt did a genealogy many years ago. It traced our lineage back to the Mayflower landing. I want to create a "tree", but don't really know how to get started or which software to use. My aunt's is handwritten... long before computers were available to regular people.

I'm looking forward to seeing this thread develop, because my desire is to do more than the maternal grandmother's side of the family one day.
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Old February 22 2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

My sister is using Ancestry for our family tree and we have several thousands of people on our tree. As it is online we don't put the names of living people on the tree.

I did most of the research on our Tasmanian side (my Dad's fmily) years ago, and in the last few years my sister has researched my mother's side (New South Wales, Queensland). We go back to the Second Fleet in Australia (1790), and we have been able to trace some branches back further in Britain (some back to the mid 1600s)

My sister and I split the cost of the paid subscription at Ancestry. It works well for us and we have managed to use it to contact many other people who are researching the same families as we are.
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Old February 22 2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

familysearch.org is a free site run by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). No registration is required and has a lot of information.

I was able to get a lot out the Ancestry.com site a number of years ago during a free trial.

I really got carried away and have over 3,000 entries going back (pretty sketchy) pretty far. I even discovered my parents were cousins (8th generations once removed).
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Old February 22 2013, 09:01 AM   #9
Candlelight
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I've been using Gramps, a freeware I found online. I've built up a complete family tree 5 generations without paying for subscriptions to any genealogy databases.
Downloading now. Looks good, thanks.

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
My aunt did a genealogy many years ago. It traced our lineage back to the Mayflower landing. I want to create a "tree", but don't really know how to get started or which software to use. My aunt's is handwritten... long before computers were available to regular people.
That's very cool that you can go back that far! In terms of getting started, I would recommend getting a freeware program (like the above Gramps software) so you don't waste any money if you don't like it, and you can always export a GEDCOM (generic family tree format accessible through all family tree software).

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
My sister is using Ancestry for our family tree and we have several thousands of people on our tree. As it is online we don't put the names of living people on the tree. We go back to the Second Fleet in Australia (1790), and we have been able to trace some branches back further in Britain (some back to the mid 1600s).
Cool!

Non Sync wrote: View Post
familysearch.org is a free site run by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). No registration is required and has a lot of information.
I always want to use them but my family have zero links to the Mormon church. Doubt I'd get much from them.
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Old February 22 2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Candlelight wrote: View Post
Non Sync wrote: View Post
familysearch.org is a free site run by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). No registration is required and has a lot of information.
I always want to use them but my family have zero links to the Mormon church. Doubt I'd get much from them.
You don't need to have links to the church, the resources they gather are on genealogy in general. For example, when I used to work at an archive, volunteers from the church would scan records and create indexes for them, regardless of church affiliation.
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Old February 22 2013, 11:22 PM   #11
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Don't they collect the records so that they can baptist the dead?
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Old February 23 2013, 12:32 AM   #12
Candlelight
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
Candlelight wrote: View Post
Non Sync wrote: View Post
familysearch.org is a free site run by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). No registration is required and has a lot of information.
I always want to use them but my family have zero links to the Mormon church. Doubt I'd get much from them.
You don't need to have links to the church, the resources they gather are on genealogy in general. For example, when I used to work at an archive, volunteers from the church would scan records and create indexes for them, regardless of church affiliation.
Have they dealt with many records from central England?
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Old February 23 2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
Don't they collect the records so that they can baptist the dead?
Yup.
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Old February 23 2013, 06:33 PM   #14
Spot's Meow
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
Don't they collect the records so that they can baptist the dead?
That is a part of it, though their official website claims the following:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.

We hold that all family members—those living, those past, and those future—share an enduring bond that reaches across the generations. To us this means that families are forever, and an important part of acting on this belief is doing family history."

Whether they baptize the dead or not is irrelevant to me since I don't think it's accomplishing much anyway. If it is helping to digitize and provide access to historical records, so be it.

Candlelight wrote: View Post
Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
Candlelight wrote: View Post

I always want to use them but my family have zero links to the Mormon church. Doubt I'd get much from them.
You don't need to have links to the church, the resources they gather are on genealogy in general. For example, when I used to work at an archive, volunteers from the church would scan records and create indexes for them, regardless of church affiliation.
Have they dealt with many records from central England?
I don't have firsthand experience with that research, but it looks like they have several "FamilySearch Centers" in that country, and many of their records are digitized online. They also claim to have billions of records from "around the world," so it's definitely a possibility.
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Old February 25 2013, 12:27 AM   #15
Candlelight
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Re: Best Genealogy sites and software to use?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I've been using Gramps, a freeware I found online. I've built up a complete family tree 5 generations without paying for subscriptions to any genealogy databases.
Found this to be a bit clunky and not as intuitive as I'm used to.

Guess I'm used to a certain way of working.
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