Genealogy software

Is it worth investing in a genealogy software?

It is exciting when having gathered important data such as names of people and places, dates and times of events however during the early stages of research, researchers have a tendency to collect  information documented on bits of papers, loose leaf even as Paul would say “on the back of an envelop!”. Discovering the sense of identity and passion to uncover more information drives the need to delve further into uncovering more information by using a wide range of resources. Resources then require organisation. This is all good and relevant as the choice to invest in genealogical software rests with whatever style or format most suitable and comfortable to you – whatever rocks your boat!

Genealogy software is a valuable tool as it provides a range of options to create:

  • Family charts to show entire family, mother, father, children
  • Narratives in book style
  • Ancestral charts showing the line of ancestry directly going back as far as possible and more……..

Features to look for when considering to invest in a genealogical software includes:

  • Set features: to enable organisation of research materials necessary such as family trees, reports and charts
  • Ease of use: user friendly for both beginners as well as advanced researchers
  • Report writing and publishing features: should have a good selection of report writing options, options to publish to print in various formats such as charts. Ability to export data into another software
  • Notes section – the option to add research notes to the selected individual
  • Help: good support and frequently asked questions section. Contact details for technical assistance
  • Data recognises the unique family structures such as marital status of select Caribbean and modern families can be tricky to manage for some software that only recognises marriage unions wherein the software may not recognise other forms of unions will require options such as common law relationships, unwed couples and visiting relationships from which the union may or may not have produced children. In previous programmes the parents were deemed  “married”  despite not being married at the time of birth of their children. See below for examples.


Genealogical software: Ancestral Quest 12.1 showing variety of selections for marital status



Link for further information:

Familysearch help section – lists a selection of genealogy software
Screenshots showing select genealogical software options of  marriage status
Screenshot of select genealogical software showing options for marital status – pdf
Genealogy software: Familytree Maker

Disclaimer: Please note that by listing the availability of select genealogical  software, the writer do not assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness or uselfulness for any of the products disclosed above.

© Sharon Tomlin 2011