Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Top Ten Genealogy Research "Programs"

James Tanner wrote My Top Ten Genealogy Programs for Now on his Genealogy's Star blog on 14 August 2016.  

He included Google, online genealogy database and family tree sites, WorldCat, photo programs, cloud storage programs, presentation programs, a scanning program, and RootsMagic.  James used the word "programs" to mean applications that perform a specific task on the computer.  

I'm going to confine my list to actual genealogy-oriented "programs" that I use most often:

1)  RootsMagic (a genealogy software program residing on my computer) - this is my master genealogy family tree database.  RootsMagic provides Web Hints for my tree persons on FamilySearch, MyHeritage and Findmypast, but they have to be entered manually into RootsMagic.  I put everything (events, sources, media, notes) I learn about my ancestral families into RootsMagic as I find it.

2)  Ancestry (a subscription genealogy website with genealogy records) - I start almost all of my research for specific persons using Ancestry.  If I find a record, Ancestry often finds other records for the same person.  Ancestry provides leaf Hints every day for persons in my personal Ancestry Member Tree.  I have to enter this data into RootsMagic manually.

3)  FamilySearch (a free genealogy website with genealogy records) - this site is usually my second site for researching a specific person.  If I find a record, FamilySearch often suggests other records for the same person.  The FamilySearch Research Wiki is very useful for background information about localities, methodology, etc.  The FamilySearch Books section has published and unpublished family history books.  I add content and sources to the universal FamilySearch Family Tree frequently using the RootsMagic FamilySearch Person Tools.

4)  Find A Grave (a free genealogy website with cemetery records) - this site often has unique records for 19th and 20th century persons.  

5)  MyHeritage (a subscription genealogy website with genealogy records) - this site has records for specific persons, including in Europe.  It has a free set of published genealogy books.  A user can upload a personal family tree, and MyHeritage provides Record Matches for persons in the tree, which I have to enter into RootsMagic manually.

6)  GenealogyBank (a subscription genealogy website with newspaper and other records) - this is my go-to site for historical newspaper records and recent obituaries.

7)  Findmypast (a subscription genealogy website with genealogy records) - this site has records for specific persons, especially in the British Isles, and some USA records, including access to the NewspaperARCHIVE historical newspapers.  I have to enter this data into RootsMagic manually.  There is a personal family tree available, but it is difficult to use.  Findmypast finds Record Hints for persons in my tree.

8)  AmericanAncestors (a subscription historical society website with genealogy records) - this site has records for specific persons, mainly in New England, with several digitized periodicals.

9)  Family Tree Webinars  (a subscription genealogy education website) - this site has weekly webinars and over 400 webinars in their archive.  This is my primary education website.

10)  Fold3 (a subscription genealogy website with genealogy records - this site has American military records and some other record sets, including selected newspapers and city directories.

I also use WikiTree (a free universal family tree) and Geni.com (a commercial universal family tree) on occasion.  I don't have a subscription to Archives.com or to Newspapers.com or any other subscription sites.

What other genealogy "programs" do you use (always or occasionally) to help you find records and information for your ancestry families?


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Keith Riggle said...

James mentioned many Google apps in his post, but not specifically Google Books. I have found many histories and biographies pertaining to my ancestors on Google Books. The same applies to Archive.org, aka The Internet Archive (not to be confused with Archives.com). And let's not forget Wikipedia for those who have famous ancestors. Before you scoff, remember that Wikipedia encourages contributors to cite their sources. So Wikipedia is a good source for primary and secondary sources. See, for example, this short entry for Creoda, the first king of Mercia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creoda_of_Mercia; it cites 8 different sources, all of which I can check.

Barb Matulich said...

I use ancestry.com, fold3, familysearch.org, findagrave.com, genealogybank.com like you. I also use USGenWeb.org (no subscription required) and newspapers.com (subscription required). I prefer Family Tree Maker over Roots Magic. As Keith mentioned above, I love using Google Books. Such a great resource!

LStifel said...

Like Barb, I use ancestry.com, familysearch.org, findagrave.com, USGenWeb.org and newspapers.com. In addition:

Through my public library, I can access Galileo remotely.GALILEO (GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online) is a virtual library which provides access to journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, images, and other resources that assist me in my genealogical quest.

I do a lot of newspaper searching, so in addition to newspapers.com:

The Asher Library at Spertus (http://spertus.edu/library/about-asher-library) is one of North America's largest Jewish libraries and is open to the public.

Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/) is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

My software program of choice is FamilyTree Maker.

Grant Davis said...

The four places I would tell people to check first are:

family search.org

ancestry.com (clickk Search and then Public Records). A lot of time is wasted if you don't check this resource right away. Use ancestry.com for census searching as well

findagrave.com (it doesn't take long to check over 150 million memorials to see if your ancestors are here).

Go back to the wikipedia in familysearch.org and check the records in the area you are researching.

Of course it varies for every person, but I like to tell people to check these sources first.