Over the years, I have used most genealogy software on the market. I started with a CPM+ version of PAF, moved to a DOS version of PAF, than on to other applications.
NOTE: See the other genealogy section of this site for seven surname forums.
My biggest complaint with those applications is the restrictions built into the software by the designers. Few applications permit the user to record all family relationship. Many applications either do not permit recording of some types of family relationship, or display warning. If I wish to record information or a relationship, I do not accept someone else's restrictions.
I have found software able to record of domestic partnerships, adoptions by gays or lesbians, or the existence of intersexed or transgendered individuals limited at best. Those same applications limit recording or printing of information about childless couples, and more.
A few Genealogy Applications
The menu options shown at left offer lists of Windows genealogy software and utilities on the market today, along with links to the company web site and listings of any news groups. Each very brief description is my own limited observation and do not reflect the views of any company. To learn fully about and perhaps use a trial version of one or more genealogy software, use the links to visit the developers' web sites.
For a complete description of genealogical applications, each evaluated to a standard, please visit the Genealogical Software Report Card. If you wish to know which genealogy software to buy and use, I recommend visiting the Genealogical Software Report Card web site and looking through an evaluation of what each application is able to accomplish. The best genealogy software is really an individual assessment.
From England comes Family Historian, a very different appearing genealogical application that uses GEDCOM files directly. This application actually allows you to create and view a report, then while viewing the report change and apply appearance options and view those changes in the displayed report prior to printing. You can also change information in your database, then update the contents of a displayed report prior to printing that report.
Video, DVD, and Audio Instruction
In addition to books describing genealogy or a specific genealogy software, VHS videos and DVD are available. See 123Genealogy for a list of videos and DVDs that are available. If videos or DVDs are available for a genealogical application, that information is noted in the description of the application.
If you want to listen to genealogical conference lectures, see audiotapes.com to browse the list of various conferences. Click on one of the listed conferences for a list of audio tapes from the lectures of the selected conference.
Cascading Pedigree charts
Cascading Pedigree charts are a universal problem with Windows based genealogy software. Cascading Pedigree charts are numbered as the usual Person 1 on this chart is Person 8 on Chart 1 instead of using the proper Ahnetafel numbering system. A wizard could be coded to identify the first person on the first Pedigree chart from user input. Then, using the standard Ahnetafel match formulas, all other persons on the primary and secondary charts could be identified and printed to the cascading Pedigree charts. If you seek this feature, see Genbox.
Sex or Gender
Since 1995, I've corresponded or spoke at NGS conferences with representatives from almost all major genealogy software developers in the USA. I've asked why their software was not (and still can not) record someone born intersexed or transgendered? Approximately 1 in every 2,000 births are neither XX or XY, but fall between. However ALL genealogy software persists in limiting sex or gender to M (male), F (female), or U (unknown).
Only one genealogy software (A&D, now no longer available) was originally designed to record intersexed or transgendered individuals.
Two other genealogy software -- Family Tree Maker and Generations Family Tree (the development upon the latter has ceased) -- allow for changes to a recorded gender after spouse or children are attached to an individual.
Of the genealogy software known as the "Big Three", two offer freedom in recording gender. The third is 'restrictive'.
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