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2021 Rankings

Best Genealogy Software

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Do you want to find out more about your family history? Genealogy software is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to explore their past and store all of your information in one place so you never lose it again! Get started now by signing up for a free trial!

Frequently Asked Questions on Genealogy Software

Where can I find my genealogy online?

Unless you’re a notable figure, getting an accurate family history online is near to impossible. There’s a chance of finding a bit of relevant information but it won’t be as detailed as you would want it to be. 

Can my ancestor’s name be changed?

This all depends on the historical context that your family has faced. There were some former colonies and countries that required people to change their names. So looking back at the socio-political history of your location can help you determine if your ancestor’s name was changed or not.

 Am I related to someone famous?

To know if you are related to someone famous, you need to have your comprehensive family tree ready and compare it with the famous person’s personal tree. Simply look for people common in both trees. 

Can I do genealogy without a computer?

Definitely yes! Once acquiring your genealogy software, you can start by filling out your data sheets and going backward from there. Go through personal records (e.g., education, medical records, etc) of you and your family and organize the information into paper sheets and charts. 

Where can I find birth, death, and marriage records?

These kinds of records are usually found in civil (government) records. They view this as vital since these are vital moments in someone's life. Now, the government does not have all the files since some might have gotten lost. Each recording system varies from state, province, and city. 

How are cousins related?

Genealogy software programs can usually store records on family connections but only you can identify and input the data. To determine the actual relationship between two people or two families, you have to trace it back to the ancestor they both have in common (i.e., a grandparent in common). 

 Is my data secure?

Most of the time, data is secured through the website’s personal encryption. But you need to check reviews and see if any security breaches have occurred with that genealogy software or website. In addition, go through the terms and conditions to check if the software company states any form of data collection, if it does, then they might be collecting your data for research or commercial purposes.

Can I add people who can view what’s in my genealogy software?

Yes, you can control who can view your family tree data. To exclude people from viewing your data, you can remove their names or email addresses when exporting the file. The best genealogy software programs would mostly focus on the person who availed the software and their relatives.

 Can I explore genealogy software without the internet?

This depends on the genealogy software that you are using, but generally, people can access the family database offline especially if they converted it into a new file. Some internet-dependent software types need an online connection or minimal phone data use. 

I can’t find this person. Can genealogy software developers help me find them?

Numerous genealogy software programs have tutorial videos and blogs to develop your research and technical skills. Unless you hire a professional genealogist, software developers cannot personally collect your data or help you in researching information.

Are there professional genealogists?

Yes. Genealogy is a modern science field that seeks to trace family history. Make sure to look for certified genealogists recognized by public and private entities.

Are these genealogy software programs better than online trees?

It depends if you want to create basic or detailed family trees because online trees have simple features and genealogy software programs allow more complexity. Online trees have the advantage of storing inputted data forever and easily access such data. Although genealogy software programs can now synchronize data with online trees as well. 

 Do I need a special program, plug-in, or app to view genealogy software?

Most of the time, you do not need those. You merely need to download the file and install it. But there are cases where you need to download a file archiver to extract the zipped file of the free genealogy software.

Where can I get technical support for genealogy software programs?

Most genealogy software developers have a technical support page on the software itself or website. In the software, you can sift through the taskbar and look for the word “help.” It will offer a variation of questions that you can ask related to your problem and then show you a step-by-step process on how to fix it.

More complex problems like crashing or rebooting can be found on their websites answered with tutorial videos. If all else fails, the final option is to connect to their technical support and they will patch up your problem.

Can I record alternate names in the genealogy software?

This depends on the genealogy software itself, but most programs do have this option. There are even cases where you input an unlimited number of alternate names and nicknames under one person’s datasheet. These can include title prefixes and suffixes. 

How many events can genealogy software programs handle?

You can add an unlimited number of events in each person’s family file. Each event can include more specific details like the names of people involved, the location of the event, and the description of what happened. 

How many generations can genealogy software handle?

Genealogy software programs can usually handle a large number of generations, some can even handle an unlimited number for each family file. 

 What is the best genealogy software? 

The best genealogy software depends on what’s best for you. Since genealogy programs have varying features and interfaces, you need to find the one you are most comfortable with and interested in. You can try free versions of different genealogy programs first before you decide to make your big purchase.

How much are genealogy software programs?

Usually, genealogy software programs are inexpensive. Some might require to pay every month and some might require you to buy the whole thing and just pay for the upgraded versions. 

How do I import files from the internet to my genealogy software program?

Some genealogy software has browser extensions to make it easier for you to directly import it to your database. Just click the extension and this automatically saves it in your program. If it does not have a browser extension, you can convert the data into a source citation and import that into the resource project.

How to use genealogy software?

After skimming through dozens of articles stating genealogy software reviews from 2017 or best genealogy software of 2018 to 2019 and choosing the best one for you, here is how to use the software.

Gather data.

Compile all the family tree data that you have stored away. You can do this by painstakingly going through physical paper trails.

Create the genealogy sheet for yourself.

In storing the compiled data, the first step is to create your genealogy sheet to get the hang of the program software interface. Generally, genealogy software showcases a large “Add an Individual” or “New Entry” or any similar words for adding a new data entry option. After clicking this, a data field will pop up.

Add details.

Check one of the data fields that enumerate certain events in one’s life like general information, birth, education, marriage, residence, death, and burial. Choose the General Option to start out with basic details like your name and sex.

Add notes and sources.

After that, slowly go through events that are applicable to you and fill out all the needed details. All design areas - where you input the data - would have an additional edit area where you can input personal notes and sources.

Add media.

Upload relevant media to show who you are. This can be a video of your first birthday, graduation degree, and other life milestones.

Do the same for other family members.

After filling out your genealogy datasheet, add one of your family members and click the button - usually one that states mother, daughter, son - to state their connection with you.

Check accuracy.

After adding all your direct family members, you can check the dynamic family tree to check if the stated familial connections are correct.

View graphs, charts, or webs.

You also have the option to check your family tree in different mediums, like in a graph or chart or location webs.

Access public records and get notified of updates, if possible.

Some genealogy software has the feature of accessing public records online (i.e., someone posted job achievements on social media platforms) and emailing you for updated information. You have the choice to turn this feature on or off.

Update information and correct mistakes.

For mistakes, there are usually duplicate handling ribbons available and an edit button. So, don’t be afraid to make a mistake as you can still edit it anytime you want. 

How to import genealogy software datasheets from websites?:

Open the genealogy software.

Import with the software.

Click the “File” option in the menu bar and click “Import GEDCOM.” If you click “Import GEDCOM”, a wizard pop-up will appear to help you correctly import your online family tree.

Browse through the files.

Choose your online tree’s current file format then click “Browse” to find your family tree file. Or click “scan” to automatically and quickly scan your computer for genealogy files. A list of files would be shown, and you can click the one you want to import.

Rename the file.

After finding your file, click “Next” to proceed and then choose the project name that you wish to name it.

Get the importation report.

Once successfully imported, the wizard would state its success and give you a detailed report on the importation (e.g., size of the GEDCOM file, the number of people in the family tree, etc.). Finally, click “Finish” and then you are done.

 How to export genealogy software data sheets to a PDF?

Open the genealogy software.

Export with the software.

Click the “File” option in the menu bar and click “Export GEDCOM.”

Choose what to export.

You are given the option to export what you want:

If you want to export certain generations or specific family units of the family tree, you can create your chart and just export that pedigree tree specifically.

If you want one name only, you can click “Export” and then highlight a name and click “Include.” You can click descendants if you want to include them.

Choose the output file format that you want.

You are usually given different options ranging from different versions of your genealogy software file extensions or third-party apps. You can simply choose the ”GEDCOM 5.5 file extension” since it is mostly compatible with all genealogy software programs.

Specify what data to include in the file.

After choosing the person or list of descendants you wish to export from step 3, you can choose what specific details about them you can export (e.g., photographs or document images).

Select where you want to save your file.

You can choose a folder from your file explorer and save the file under your desired name (e.g., “The Jones Family”) and click “OK.” Once the export is finished, you can click “OK” again. 

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