03 October 2009

Bloomberg News talks genealogy

Tracing the Tribe loves it when non-traditional (e.g. financial news) media writes about genealogy. Today, it was the turn of Bloomberg News columnist Rich Jaroslovsky to detail family history software programs as he tried out Family Tree Maker 2010.

Although he details what the subscription costs are for Ancestry, and provides some information for Mac users, as well as where other costs of gen research might be found (DNA testing, publications and more), he didn't mention free downloadable software such as MyHeritage.com's Family Tree Builder 4.0.

If you are researching your family history, the best thing about the Internet is the vast amount of information available. Records, recollections and resources previously accessible only to those with the time and money to travel to distant locales are now mouse clicks away.

That flood of data is also the worst thing about the Internet. Locating information can be hit or miss; older records are often poorly indexed or unintelligible; cataloging your finds and establishing relationships can be a confusing, time- consuming operation.
There’s a vast array of software to help find and organize family information, says the article, which focuses on Family Tree Maker 2010.

Jaroslovsky details his own family history quest:

For instance, I have been using the software to locate and organize information about the Lerners, the family of my paternal grandmother, who died at age 25 during the great influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.

Through conversations with an elderly aunt, I learned enough to be able to locate U.S. Census records from 1900 that gave me the names of my great-grandparents -- as well as various great-uncles and aunts I never knew I had. Had I recorded video or audio of my conversation with my aunt -- which I should have done -- I could have saved that to Family Tree Maker, too.
For those who use Macs, the software field is limited; most are Windows-only. The article offers some hints if you want to use Family Tree Maker, such as a copy of Windows and Apple's free Boot Camp program, or VMware's Fusion or Desktop from Parallels.

On the other hand, there are Mac programs such as Reunion (Leister Productions Inc.), and MacFamilyTree (Synium Software), both of which have separate Apple iPhone paid apps to help collect information from onsite and in-person research trips and integrate with desktop systems.

Read the complete article at the link above.

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