December 21, 2014

Ancestry, Genealogy Programs and Online Trees

Family Trees: Online, Or On Your Computer?

Recently, a genealogy novice asked the question, “Which is better, a genealogy program, or having your family file strictly online?” While in my opinion I believe in using a genealogy program, the fairly recent availability of free online family trees on Ancestry might be confusing to beginners.

  • Genealogy programs, no matter which one, give the genealogist the freedom to add names, dates and additional information from other records and printed documents.
  • You can work at your own pace with no ads or loss of privacy.  Some programs like Family Tree Maker allow you to search on Ancestry right from the name of the person you’re researching.  Results are then more likely to be accurate because you’ve given ‘rich’ search keys [to Ancestry] if the name, dates and locations are filled in almost completely.
  • Genealogy programs usually have a backup feature built in so that you don’t lose data you’ve just input, and a secondary backup to deliberately (“save as…”) backup the whole family file before closing the program.

I do have my family trees online, but in a (sort of) limited way.  I uploaded my GEDCOM’s after first making sure they were privatized.  Privatizing does just what it says, it privatizes the personal information of anyone in your files who is living.

Never Put It All Online

You’ve heard the old saying, “Never put all your eggs in one basket”, right?  While I like working with my family trees online, I do it mainly to share them, and the documents I find in Ancestry with family who may not have total access to the site.  It’s an abbreviated version of what I have in my main file on my computer.

When I find a document or photo on Ancestry I save it to the person in the tree, and download the same file for my records.  Extra work, yes a little bit, but sharing is more important to me than a little extra clicking and “mousing”.

So, to sum it up for those new to genealogy, please don’t put all your family tree(s)  just online on a genealogy site.  If that site goes away for some reason, so does all your hard work.

Finding a genealogy program that works for you should be considered an investment.  You have decided to compile your family history and it’s important to get it as accurate and easy to understand as possible.  Serious genealogists use a genealogy program. At least in my opinion.

iPentimento Adds Family Tree Magazine Affiliation

A Genealogy Affiliation

I’ve been doing a little housecleaning on iPentimento lately, clearing out affiliate ads that were not working for me. Today I added a new one that I hope you’ll find interesting if you are a genealogy enthusiast.

For the last two years I have been a subscriber to Family Tree Magazine and I just love it. Every article is helpful and well researched, as well as interesting to the seasoned or new family researcher

It isn’t so much that I want to make money as an affiliate for the magazine as much as it is that I believe they are one of the best genealogy teaching mags around.

Helpful Genealogy CD’s

One of the things I really like about the magazine is that they make all of their past issues available on CD, as well as their State Research Guides for all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.

In the magazine the research guides are included in each issue as a pullout to keep in your records, but if you are just now subscribing they make sure you aren’t left out by making all of the guides available in CD format.

Worldwide Genealogy

This isn’t a magazine just for United States genealogists, but a resource for everyone worldwide.

Family Tree Magazine Online

Have you visited the Family Tree Magazine website yet? Whether you subscribe to the magazine through my link (I hope you do), or through their site link, I guarantee you will find the magazine a “keeper”.

Make sure you sign up for Family Tree Magazine’s free newsletter too.

Subscribe To Family Tree Magazine Today

If you do subscribe, come back and tell us if the subscription has been helpful in your research. If you’re already a subscriber, please leave a comment and tell everyone why you like it too.

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Patent Searches

How To Find Inventors In Your Family

The above link is a short post I did some time ago, but it fits in perfectly with this week’s topic of Patent Searches for 52 Weeks To Better Genealogy.  You may find some amazing new information about your family members that you hadn’t known before.  Read my article to see where I found patent information.

Get Your Genealogy Blog Listed Here

To be honest, I haven’t clicked on every category on this website, so I can’t say with authority just what you might find (other than iPentimento, of course) in this list of genealogy blogs at Genealogy Blog Finder, but I can say that for a die hard genealogist this is a site to make me drool in anticipation.

Genealogy Blog Finder

  • Recently Updated
  • Genealogy blogs with fresh content
  • Genealogy News
  • The latest developments in the genealogical world
  • Tips, Resources & Reviews
  • Tips for building skills and finding resources
  • Personal Research
  • Family historians share their personal stories
  • Single Surname
  • Blogs focusing on one surname
  • Technology
  • Using technology to aid research
  • Preservation
  • Tips on preserving your family’s history

The above is just a sampling of the categories you will be searching. Make sure you put Genealogy Blog Finder in your favorites or bookmark it. You will want to go back to it time and again!

If you don’t already have your genealogy blog listed there (it’s free) then you are missing out on some really good exposure for your blog. I just wanted to put a little Sunday night blurb here about it so you can check it out. Now, I am going back there to do a little searching of my own. I don’t just write about genealogical research you know….sometimes I even do some! ;)

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