Re: Family Tree Recommendations #general


I have not had a good experience with MyHeritage.

Main problems:

- Places. It wants modern names of places instead of the genealogically-correct name at the time of the event, and there are many, many, many places that it simply Will Not Take under any label that I've been able to come up with.

- Names. It insists that a married woman's surname is the same as her husband's, which is just Totally WRONG for my ancestors. I can turn this behavior off for myself, but that does not help with hints and other external material.

- Data presentation. It calls everything a "historical record" -- actual historical records, phone book compilations, user-contributed trees, miscellaneous online dreck: all of it is a historical record with default confidence "primary source".

- Paywalls. It tries to charge me money to access data from FamilySearch. This includes tree matches (a "primary source", donchaknow, see above) with profiles that I put on FS in the first place. I really don't know why nobody has sued them over this: how is it not blatant fraud to charge me money for freely-available material (which happens to be my own work)?

Offline, I use a glorified text editor to work directly with a GEDCOM file. This suits my brain, but is not what most people are looking for. There are lots of options, though, and many of them are free or have free versions ( (One important detail: last I checked, Legacy still hadn't implemented Unicode, so if you have ancestors from any place further east than England, you'll have trouble entering their names correctly in that program.)

The online free trees I have experience with are all collaborative: FamilySearch Family Tree, WikiTree, Geni. They are generally good places to work, as long as you're clear that it's not "your tree", and your work there should be supplemented with an offline file, as backup and as a repository for information about living relatives (which doesn't belong anywhere online, no matter how privatized).

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