Genealogy Software #general


Geoffrey Sea
 

I'm new at this and facing the question of what software to use to build my family tree. I only have a tree on Ancestry.com and want something more powerful that does not reside online.  From reading reviews, it appears that Gramps and Legacy 9 are the favored options. Is one of these better for European Jewish genealogy or am I missing another option? My ancestry is entirely Ashkenazi with pre-US residency limited mostly to Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, and Russia, with older residence in Germany and Ottoman Empire. I have substantial rabbinical ancestry, some of it confirmed and some very dubious. What is the best trustworthy source for rabbinical lineages?  Otherwise, I am looking for the following features:  I am more interested in deep ancestry going as far back as possible rather than accumulating lists of cousins.

1. Ability to query a large number of databases including especially from the countries mentioned.
2. Ability to test and rate the accuracy of proposed links.
3. Ability to handle the exotic names and incestuous relations often associated with old rabbinical families.
4. Integration with DNA results (I did DNA testing with FamilyTreeDNA)
5. Professional quality so as to withstand scholarly analysis.
6. Windows platform -- I don't need anything mobile.

Family TreeDNA has its own tree builder but I don't know how capable it is.

I am especially interested in tracking deep ancestry in Hungary and adjacent areas now in Ukraine and Slovakia. This may be a separate question, but what is the best access to old records from those countries for someone who does not speak Hungarian or Yiddish (I can read Russian but not old Russian handwriting)? For example I know there are old Hungarian census reports but I have no idea how to access them.
 
 
 

 

 
Geoffrey Sea
Writer and Historian
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
GeoffreySea@...


Geoffrey Sea
 

Thanks for the private replies. To answer my own question -- further research shows that Gramps does mapping but has no DNA integration. Legacy 9 has DNA integration but no mapping. Both features are important to me. I see that Roots Magic has both and it has the bast DNA integration of any software. So it looks like Roots Magic is the winner unless I can be dissuaded.
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Geoffrey Sea
Writer and Historian
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
GeoffreySea@...


Sarah L Meyer
 

Both Legacy and Roots Magic have free versions and neither deluxe version is expensive.  Personally, I prefer Legacy to Roots Magic (by a lot).  That said, you can import your Legacy Tree into Roots Magic and do your mapping.  My suggestion is to download both and try them and see what you like about each of them.  Also if you are a Facebook user, there is a very active and excellent Legacy User Group there, and you can usually get an answer to your software questions in just a few minutes.  There also is a Roots Magic group, but I don't know how active it is.
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Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com


Relly coleman
 

I am using FTM.  Chose it because it is compatible with Ancestry.com.

Complicated to use, endless clicks to add data, can't easily add a 2nd wife, can't correct lineage mistakes, crushes often when using charts/reports, no standard among the different views (for example: right click on some views but not others) .  It has been an exercise in frustration. 

I would not recommend it.  

Relly Coleman


rebasolomon
 

Legacy software has no equal when it comes to keeping track of all the different first/middle/last names our ancestors used and the way the transcribers read and wrote them.  It has a very upfront and user friendly AKA section with unlimited capacity for each person, including the sources for each.  You can choose to include this  AKA field when you choose a report to create, because, after all, what’s the value in putting it in if you can’t print it out?  I save my Legacy data in my Dropbox account, and I don’t use Legacy for photos, but for names-first, middle, last, Hebrew, Yiddish, diminutives, alternative spellings, immigration changes et’c, it’s wonderful.

Best of luck
Reba Solomon


Max Heffler
 

Relly Coleman  wrote:

 

“I am using FTM.  Chose it because it is compatible with Ancestry.com.

Complicated to use, endless clicks to add data, can't easily add a 2nd wife, can't correct lineage mistakes, crushes often when using charts/reports, no standard among the different views (for example: right click on some views but not others) .  It has been an exercise in frustration. 

I would not recommend it.

I use FTM for backing up my ancestry tree and merging duplicates, just as I use MyHeritage Family Tree Builder to back up that tree and merge duplicates. My local Brother’s Keeper database and geni.com are the two I can keep up-to-date manually.

 

Max Heffler

Houston, TX

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Max Heffler
Houston, TX
max@...
HEFFLER(Ukraine)/TIRAS(Poland)/WASSEMAN(Lithuania)/MOORE(Poland)/ZLOT(Lithuania)
GORENSTEIN(Ukraine)/FLEISCHMAN(Latvia)/GOLDEN(Lithuania)


Max Heffler
 

Reba Solomon wrote:

 

“Legacy software has no equal when it comes to keeping track of all the different first/middle/last names our ancestors used and the way the transcribers read and wrote them.  It has a very upfront and user friendly AKA section with unlimited capacity for each person, including the sources for each.  You can choose to include this  AKA field when you choose a report to create”

 

Brother’s Keeper has had this same functionality for the decades I have been using it. Is does not have the ability to sync with online trees.

 

Max Heffler

Houston, TX


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Max Heffler
Houston, TX
max@...
HEFFLER(Ukraine)/TIRAS(Poland)/WASSEMAN(Lithuania)/MOORE(Poland)/ZLOT(Lithuania)
GORENSTEIN(Ukraine)/FLEISCHMAN(Latvia)/GOLDEN(Lithuania)


Theo Rafael
 

While this is not directly answering some of your questions, I found that it is very important to be able to sync trees in order to INCLUDE PHOTOS and documents in the tranfer process between sites and minimize work.
I initially used Gramps as a standalone software and was pretty happy with it but unfortunately it doesn't sync with online trees and therefore it becomes very tedious once one finds multiple online photos/ documents.

I first did online work on Ancestry which helped me find extensive documentation and photos. Soon I realized that only RootsMagic and FTM can sync and download Ancestry trees AND include photos, something that regular GEDCOM file exports cannot do. In order to transfer the tree to MH, I first synched Ancestry with Rootsmagic and exported it from RM. Subsequently I imported it in Family Tree Builder which then uploaded it to MH. Although not perfect (I still need to manually tag people's faces in photos), it transferred photos from Ancestry to MH.

The ultimate family tree is however Geni and that will be yet another hurdle to pass... Problem with Geni is that existing persons have to be merged manually which is very tedious and I'd prefer to do that only once :) That's why I'll leave Geni for last, for after I'm done with the other two sites.  Also I am not sure photos can be transferred automatically to Geni, I'll have to read again about their copying utility. 

And there's also Familysearch to deal with, whose main advantage is again that it's a public tree open to all, somewhat like Geni.

Bottom line is that it can be challenging to upload and maintain the same tree on all major sites but in my case each site provided new genealogical information and additional tree branches that were unavailable on the others sites hence I'll try to eventually unify all the available info on all sites.

Also, regarding your #1 and #2 features, I'm not aware of any genealogy programs or websites capable of doing that; at most some can query the four main genealogical sites I mentioned above (RM for instance).

Best,
Theo Rafael


michele shari
 

Hi Geoffrey,
I use all Apple computers and I bought the RootsMagic program. It froze and gave me repeated problems. Customer service was useless. I then bought MacFamily Tree and have not had any issues. I can enter DNA results, add categories and it does integrate with FamilySearch and tells you if it found records and gives you the option of reviewing and adding them.
Their customer service is good and price was not expensive and they have add ons like a mobile version so others can use it simultaneously (I don't need that as I am the only one using my tree).
It is quite a robust program that I was able to use without reading the downloadable instruction book but I did use it for reference a few times. I hate reading instructions so I learn as I go and have been fine. Only glitch I found was entering a Religious name (hebrew first name) it just doesn't take it under that category so I just enter it under "additional names/name variation". 
Overall I am very happy with it and their upgrade from v8 to v9 was good and inexpensive. They do have a free trial version.
Michele Farkas
Boynton Beach, FL (formerly NY like so many others)
Researching: Farkas, Weiszhauz, Weisshauz (Vamospercs, Tasnad, Carei and other areas in Transylvania); Stauber, Stober, Stouber, Stambor, Malek, Davidovici, Davidovitz, Herstik, Hershtik, Hershtig, Teszler, Tesler (Viseu and surrounding towns, Teresva, Ukraine, Szurdok, Botiza, Dragomiresti).


Sarah L Meyer
 

Both FamilySearch's tree (NOT their records) and Geni are collaborative trees and hence controversial.  This style of tree allows others to change your information because someone else has other data.  Family Search requires that people be added individually (no Gedcom).  Decide where you feel comfortable about that kind of tree (WikiTree is another one) and act accordingly.
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Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com