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Best Genealogy computer programs?


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#1 jackmarison93

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 08:41 PM

I scanned the posts in the sub but last I saw with this topic was 6 years ago and I know that technology moves much faster than that.

What computer programs are you guys using? Right now all of my data is stored in Ancestry.com and I don't want that long term for obvious reasons.

Thoughts?



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:59 PM

These being RootsMagic forums, I would suggest that most users on these forums are using RootsMagic.

 

Strictly a personal opinion, but I think the Big Three are RootsMagic, Family Historian, and Legacy Family Tree. But others are good, too. In all truth, the best genealogy program is the one that best meets your needs, and not all users have the same needs. RootsMagic is the one that best meets my personal needs.

 

Jerry



#3 JCK74656

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 04:43 AM

 

I scanned the posts in the sub but last I saw with this topic was 6 years ago and I know that technology moves much faster than that.

What computer programs are you guys using? Right now all of my data is stored in Ancestry.com and I don't want that long term for obvious reasons.

Thoughts?

 

 

I was gifted Rootsmagic 7 almost a year ago and decided to invest my research in it, I am starting to regret that decision now as I am finding many unfinished and unpolished features. The current version is 4 years old, if I am correct, so there has been ample time to resolve and finish those problems, but this has not happened.

 

When I was kindly gifted the program I read a lot about Rootsmagic and a reputation of listening to their users and working with them, I can say personally I have found no evidence of that in recent years and now have the opinion this was a reputation earned many years ago and now a thing of the past with no bearing on todays development strategy.

 

On the positive side, and before you make your decision, the current version of Rootsmagic is 4 years old and a new version is probably due, although no one knows when. In theory that puts the current version maybe 3 years behind competition software in development terms so the next version may be a leap ahead, or maybe not, we will just have to wait and see. Personally I see great potential in Rootsmagic and find it quick to use but without that potential being brought out and realised it just continues to frustrate me through silly fundamental things like lack of sorting, lack of displayed information, limited charting capabilities, poor mapping interface etc.

 

I just saw a Top Ten Reviews link on Facebook this morning updated 1 Aug 2018 and Rootsmagic was rated #4. Diferent people have different opinions of these reviews and I have found the Rootsmagic user base very defensive and dismissive of the deficiencies of the program and that does not give me hope for the future.



#4 Trebor22

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 05:31 AM

If there is a 'one size fits all' ie a 'best' programme I have yet to come across it, for me it was about choosing what I saw as the 'best option'  available  (when I moved from PAF).

I fill in some of RM's deficiencies by using other programmes alongside RM and am resigned / happy  doing so for the foreseeable future, I think this approach also keeps me in touch with what else is out there.

As there is a free version of RM you have the luxury of trying before you buy and that applies to some other software as well :-)

Lets hope RM 8 when it arrives makes our programme of choice easier - in a good way :-)



#5 cj1260

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 09:34 AM

Back in 2017 I began searching for genealogy programs. I was also thinking long term, for if I was going to invest thousands of hours into collecting and entering data then I wanted to be sure that I owned all that data and would continue to have access to it for the long term. After a lot of searching, and reading various reviews, I focused on these programs: RootsMagic, Family Historian, Legacy Family Tree, and Gramps.

As others have said, there is no one best program...they all have their own pluses and minuses and little annoying quirks. However, in the end I went with Roots Magic and I'm very happy with it. I particularly like that all the information is stored in SQLite which allows me access to the data in ways outside of the program. This is truly owning the data....and all the hard work that went into it! This also gives me comfort in knowing that if the company disappeared tomorrow, I can still access my data thru the program or in other enhanced ways in the future using other tools.

With that said, I have found the graphing in RM not very good for my needs. However, I use RM with Charting Companion from Progeny and this combo works great for my purposes!

After spending about 2,000 hours using RM in the past year alone, it works great and I always recommend it to people, but in the end, you'll probably be happy with any of those programs...and at times a little frustrated with the various quirks.

 

Good luck.



#6 zhangrau

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 04:17 PM

Computer programs and power tools are only intuitive and easy after you already know how to use them.



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 08:18 PM

Computer programs and power tools are only intuitive and easy after you already know how to use them.

 

I had to laugh a little at this comment because it reminded me of a situation from decades ago, long before I was doing genealogy and long before there was any genealogy software in the modern sense of the word. I'm old enough that I started using computers in 1965 with punched cards as the programming medium and with punched cards as the data entry medium.

 

The transition from punched cards to dumb terminals was interesting (and this was long before any kind of PC's). One of the things that came into being with dumb terminals was text editors. There were many such text editors, and there were long and spirited debates among computer people about which text editor was the best. A colleague of mine at the time had the best opinion I think there ever was about which text editor was the best. He said very simply that the best text editor is the one that you know how to use. I wonder if it's equally true today that the best genealogy program is simply the one that you know how to use.

 

Jerry



#8 mjashby

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 04:05 AM

And here on slightly different tack, and being British, I'm reminded of a quote by Bill Shankly, a long departed and legendary manager of Liverpool Football Club when they dominated the old English First Division in the 1960s and 1970s.  When asked by a TV News Reporter to name the best Liverpool Team he had ever managed he simply said: "The next one!"  

 

Mervyn


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"A Mac User with Windows Tendencies"


#9 thaliadaniels

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:33 AM

I'm using Ancestry.com as well..



#10 Nettie

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:44 AM

Under no circumstance will ancestry.com be my primary genealogical program,  It is only out there with names, dates for DNA purposes only.  Do not trust anyone else using ancestry.com and many copying data or pictures from websites marked with no copying without permission, and without doing their own work.  Been a user of RM since FO 2 and have tried others which do not fit my needs.  Because RM, Bruce, B...,,  has given us choices to be able to created our own fact/event , this has solved what other programs have and I wanted to use and made it work in RM. 

 

I have copied the FactType list to an Excel worksheet, and kept track in that worksheet the facts that I have added, and use the sentences [usually my own] with the description added/checked the box, by me, to each fact/event.  On this forum, there are many messages with others sharing the sentences they have created for a fact.  The help menu /F1 has very good suggestions on language/uses for sentences. Good suggestions by Laura, Jerry and many others. 


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#11 hiretablets

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:52 AM

 i have to asked the same question as well...



#12 Nettie

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:33 AM

 i have to asked the same question as well...

Strong suggestion to all who are looking for genealogy software.  Try the freebies for each of the three software's that Jerry mentioned above and then use the one that best fits your needs.  All my classes I have taught or worked with clients, have made this suggestion.   There are software program charts on the web for what each one has and some of them do not match what Bruce/RM has on their list.   Be aware this could be true for all three of the one's Jerry listed. 


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0