Yesterday my new genealogy software arrived in the mail! I have been thinking about buying new software for awhile now. I have Reunion, a wonderful program for the Mac. But I also have a subscription to Ancestry.com, which uses FamilyTreeMaker as its featured software. FamilyTreeMaker seems to be the most popular Windows program, so I decided to order a copy for our Dell laptop and see what the fuss was all about. I’ve had fun exploring its features over the past two days! Here’s some of my initial observations:
– FamilyTreeMaker is directly integrated with the Ancestry.com website. That means it gives me hints and links to records on Ancestry that match with my personal tree. I can then merge the record with my ancestor!
– It has wonderful publishing tools. It can generate a variety of reports, printed versions of trees or families, with lots of neat details and images.
– My order came with an extra nifty little program called “GenSmarts”. It looks at your family tree and then generates a huge number of places to further research your ancestors. The program is “smart”, and suggests websites and records that would have further information on your ancestor. I have already viewed many of the records it suggests, but it still has a lot of neat features.
– I was hoping the program would have better web publishing capabilities. The automatic website you can generate only allows 2,000 members in a tree (but my basic family file has double that amount! So I can’t easily use it).
-There’s still no easy way to edit your family file once you have posted it to Ancestry.com through a GEDCOM. I am always adding new information to my family tree on my software. But unless you delete and upload your updated information as a separate GEDCOM or physically edit your posted tree on the website (after you have already edited the info on your software), there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward solution.
– Maybe I haven’t played with it enough, or have just used Reunion for so long – but stylistically, I prefer how Reunion looks and feels through its user interface.
So there you have it. I think I will still use Reunion as my primary genealogical software, but use FamilyTreeMaker whenever I want to print family files, trees, reports, etc, and use its research recommendations.
To my readers: what genealogy software do you use?