Thursday, July 31, 2014

Roots Magic

Our last genealogical software product that we will review for two blog articles is Roots Magic. According to their website, they have been been creating computer software with a purpose-to unite families. 

Once installed, you have the option to "Create a new file":

Adding my father to the file was simple with the following results:

To add his spouse, one just has to click "Add" and then click "Spouse". One can easily add the marriage date with the end results as follows:

As one slowly adds the information to this family, one's pedigree begins to grow.
As each place is entered, it is checked for accuracy with a feature called CountyCheck. This feature can be turned off it wanted, but it will tell you if that place existed on the date you entered for the event for US, Canada, UK or Australia.

Next week we will delve into the other features of RootsMagic.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 27, 2014

Legacy Family Tree: Behind the Beginning Screens

In our last blog we learned how to beginning to enter in one's family vital information. The data entry is not complicated if you have all the information. Once you have done that the next thing to do could be to look for additional information on your ancestor.

With your ancestor in the main view, click on the "Research Guidance" which is the last icon under their main information, here is what the icon looks like:

Once you click that you are presented with some choices across the top as tabs:
1) Define Timeline
2) Preliminary 
3) Suggest Sources
4) To Do Lists

Each has something to offer, however, if it is research one is wanting to do, #3 is the best option as it shows you possible records to search to learn additional information about your ancestor. 

Even the seasoned researcher can pick up some hints from this research guidance.

The reports section has every kind of chart and report one would expect from this type of sofware.

They include pedigree charts, family group sheets, statistics reports, a publishing center, ancestor book, descendant book, a descendant narrative book, multiple lines of descendant book, blank charts and wall charts. There wall charts is impressive as they provide the following choices:

It looks like this software along with the others has all the necessary features to help you build your family tree, research your tree with some additional hints and create a beautiful wall chart to share with other family members.

It does have the necessary LDS features that are most important to them.

Remember. they have many tutuorials at various levels right on their website here.

As a side note, Legacy Family Tree provides a service to all those wanting to learn more about researching through their Legacy Family Webinars which are held regularly. If one can't make it, one can easily, for a small fee, download it and learn! What a great service they provide. To learn more about their webinars, please click here.

Our next blog will be reviewing Roots Magic.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 20, 2014

Legacy Family Tree

For the next 2 weeks we will explore Legacy Family Tree software, the 3rd in a series of 4 genealogical software reviews by Budding Genealogists.

Originally Legacy Family Tree (Legacy) was released in June, 1997 through Millennia Corporation. The original authors were Ken McGinnis and Dave Berdan.

The program is now in its 8th edition which was released on 26 November 2013.

As with the previous software packages, Legacy comes in additional languages. A person's family file can be opened in Microsoft Access which could be helpful if Legacy wasn't available on the computer an individual is on.

After one installs their program, you are prompted to begin your family file by giving it a name. Once you have done that the first screen showing allows you to begin enterin in your family's vital information along with media and sources as with the other software programs. 

For the purposes of this demonstration, I'll start with my grandfather on my father's side. A simple 'Click to add Person' is most visible and data entry is not a problem either:

To the right of the locations is the ability to see it on a map as well as adding the Geo location. Additionally events can be added through this screen along with photos, notes and additional information.

Note that there also is a place to enter DNA information from the various companies at the bottom right.

Once the family data has been entered, there are a number of additional items of interest right on the family screen. I've marked up just one side as it is the same for all in this position.

With this family entered, lets see what their pedigree form looks like:

Legacy's pedigree form is similar Ancestral Quest and PAF so far with Family Tree Maker being Vertical like on their website.

In the next blog we'll look at their Research Guidance, To-Do Lists and Timeline so that you can make a good choice when choosing the genealogical software for you.

Under the "Help" button, one can click on "Beginners Video" to help you make the best use of this software product.

Additionally, there are online lessons available from their website, just click here.

Their website is

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Delving Deeper into Family Tree Maker

Taking a closer look at the above screen will help one to better navigate within the program. Notice that the workspace this screen is on is the People Work Space. Here one can add all one's family members.

The Family View section looks like this after beginning to enter the children of this couple.

This family had 16 children so it will take some time to enter them all in. For each person added, one needs to provide proof which is where the collected documents come to play. To the right of the above screen is the information on the highlighted individual, clicking the book brings up the following screen:

Clicking "Add New Media" allows one to add documents, pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. that is located on your own computer.

Notice that you can also scan a record to add to your media collection.

Another section worth mentioning that will be of great help as one wants to share their family history with other family members. The section is under the work space Publish, here one can choose from a large selection of reports and charts as well as customized charts.

Web Search allows one to search,, and for additional records and information.

Family Tree Maker has many other features that are covered in the following resources, one should keep an open mind and check out each software to find the one you are most comfortable in using.

There are videos and tutorials available for FTM in a variety of places:
Next week's blog will take a look at Legacy Family Tree.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 23, 2014

Family Tree Maker

This week we are sharing information on the 2nd of 4 genealogical software programs.

Family Tree Maker (FTM) is available for both a PC and a Mac which eliminates any emulators needed to run windows based software on a Mac.

FTM is advertisted as the #1 selling family history software and allows an individual researcher to keep track of family information, add sources and citations from documents as well as pictures. Once the information is added, one can also print up reports and charts to present the entered information in a variety of different formats.

As with the previous software, you begin with yourself, your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Most of this information is what you already know. Do take time to question those in your family who are older, hopefully they will be able to help you as you start to collect valuable family history information.

When you finish installing the program, you will be asked to register it with and they offer a 14 day free trial with that registration if you currently not an member. The first screen to enter data is a little different from Ancestral Quest and looks like this:

Notice that it has the usual fields to fill in but this has an additional one as you are just beginning and allows you to name the tree in this first screen. If you had a tree on Ancestry, you can download it straight from within the program. Entering in the fields is not complicated and when you begin to enter the places a drop down allows you to enter the place with the full proper name. Once entered you hit continue and you are taken to an "Auto Search Question" like this:

If I click on the "OK" Ancestry will go out to its site and search for the individual I just entered, however, since you are new to this I would recommend not to allow that and enter what you know to be accurate and true before linking into someone else's data that could be right or wrong. By clicking the "NO", it immediately brought me to a beginning Pedigree. I started with my father who passed away in 1984.

Adding individuals is as simple as clicking on "add Father", "add Mother" or "add Child" like this:

There are 2 types of Pedigree views, traditional to the side and vertical:


As you build your family tree, there will be more to view in each of these pedigree views. We'll show some of the charts in the next blog. 

There are videos and tutorials available for FTM in a variety of places:
Next week's blog will delve just a bit deeper into Family Tree Maker.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ancestral Quest: Simple but Powerful...

Ancestral Quest (AQ) family tree software is the easiest to use and most versatile genealogy program for Windows on the market according to many who use this software product. 

Of of the main draws is the fact that the format is perfect for the beginner and yet powerful enough for the most advanced genealogist. Easy data entry, keyboard shortcuts, scrapbooking, and excellent sourcing capabilities are just some of this genealogy software program's wonderful award-winning features.

Create professional looking Pedigree Charts, Family Group Sheets, Ancestry charts, Descendant charts, genealogy book reports, fan charts and more. Additionally, there are links from within the program that allow you to search on other online databases such as, and others that you can add yourself saving you research time.

A program description is found here from their website:, additionally, there is a "Quick Start Video Tutorial" available from the website that covers all the basics and some of the not so basic features, however, one is free to just follow one at a time.

When you are just beginning you would most likely have an empty family file so a pedigree view would look like this.

As the above is blank, the Family view it would also be blank, but you can begin to enter your own information as the first person in the file. The following screen is what comes up when you begin to add an individual. Once the information is added, you just click 'Save'.

Simple data entry:

Of course even with this simple data entry, one would want to provide a location of where this information came from which could simply be a birth certificate.

The next logical step would be to add the parents and siblings and so begins the journey of building one's family tree.

While these are simple steps, it is these simple steps that one takes to begin ones' own family history.

The data entry is simple yet provides one with the opportunity to add sources and citations for each person so that one can know for sure the individuals in their family file are members of their own family.

To learn more about purchasing Ancestral Quest, contact them at 1-800-825-8864. For technical support contact them at 801-280-4434. If you wish to just send an email query, you can so at

Enjoy the simplicity and power of this full-featured genealogical software!

Next: A review of Family Tree Maker 

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 2, 2014

Choosing Software: Ancestral Quest, Family TreeMaker Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic

When it comes to software it can be hard to choose the right one. There is always more than one that will do the same thing. Take for instance word documents, today one can choose from paid programs like Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect or use some of the open source programs like Open Office or even Google Docs, it can be so confusing that one gets lost and frustrated.

For the next few weeks we are going to review 4 main programs that will store all your family files, pictures, recording, etc. and reproduce a variety of reports and charts to put on your wall or give to family members as gifts. 

We will be reviewing Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree and Roots Magic. Family Tree Maker is used by a colleague of mine and he has created some online tutorials that we will reference to cover it. As you can see from the chart above they are all listed there in the top 5 software programs listed by Top Ten Reviews.

When choosing software one has to take in consideration what you would like the program to do for you. Each of these programs a wonderful job with taking care of your family files. When TopTenReviews did their survey they judged the software by the following categories:

1) Reporting and Publishing
2) Feature Set
3) Citation & Organization
4) Help & Support

Each of these four software programs has most features in each of these categories so what is their difference?

Usually it is layout and functionality, various screen and whether they are easily understood. Many people feel they can load a program and figure out how to use it without too much difficulty, however, if the program itself is too complicated that is not the case.

The data entry screen for Ancestral Quest is as follows:

This screen should be most familiar to those who previously used PAF (Personal Ancestral File). That program was available for 14 years, however, the code for that program was provided to FamilySearch by Incline Software in 1999. At that time, PAF 4 and Ancestral Quest 3 were nearly identical except for the different name and a few other minor variations, it was finally released to the public in 2002 and retired in July, 2013.

Ancestral Quest has the same look and feel for most of the screens and processes as well as charts and reports, however, there are many more reports and options available with AQ than there was with PAF. Here is a screen shot of the Charts and Reports:

There are tutorials on how to use this program built right into the drop down menus. For those who will be linking and synching between FamilySearch and Ancestral Quest, click on FamilySearch and a drop down will bring up tutorials to help learn how to use those features. There are also general tutorials under Help:

Next week will go step by step with entering an individual and show how to do a couple of charts before we move onto Legacy Family Tree. Ancestral Quest can be found online at

Comments are always encouraged and welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved