I’ve seen quite a few posts lately around Facebook where different folks explain their system for organizing their genealogical data on their computer. Some look pretty simple while others might require an advanced degree to implement. So I thought I’d just join in and share my system.
In my last post, I mentioned that my cousin’s wife had become interested in genealogy. I then offered her a few pointers about how to begin:
- Start with yourself and your immediate family and work back in time, generation by generation
- Ask lots of questions, take lots of notes, and think outside the box. Develop a method of saving and organizing what you learn, whether by using pen and paper or with genealogy database software. There are many excellent and free programs available (ROOTSMAGIC!).
- Talk to your family now. Don’t put it off.
A couple of days ago, my cousin mentioned to me that his wife had started looking into her own family history. I told him to let me know if I could be of any assistance.
What would my advice be?
First of all, I would tell my cousin to look at herself and her immediate family. Gather documents, photographs, objects, anything that describes her life. And take lots of notes: what, when, where, why. Make copies (scans or photographs) of everything. After all, “genealogy without documentation is mythology.” Possibly the most important advice of all!
- I love RootsMagic. I have used it for years and would never voluntarily change. In the past, I’ve used FTM, PAF, Family Tree Builder, Ancestral Quest, TMG. None compare to RootsMagic for me. I’ve tried Geni, Ancestry, even Gramps. Nope, I’m hopelessly stuck on RootsMagic.
- I love my Chromebook. I’ve had it for about 2 1/2 years and use it all the time. It’s very lightweight and lightening-fast.
The thing about Chromebooks, though is… you can’t install and run Windows programs on a Chromebook. For the most part, the Chrome Web Store can provide just about any type of program you might need in your daily computer activities. Everything, that is, except for good genealogy programs. They do have a few, but they are pretty much garbage, in my opinion.
So… no RootsMagic on a Chromebook.
For one reason or another (do they even matter?), I haven’t “done genealogy” in a very long time. But a RootsTech post on Facebook last week created a spark in me, which quickly developed into that old flame…
Glad to be back. At one point I didn’t think I would be doing this anymore… ever…
I guess it’s a chronic, even terminal condition… and there’s only one treatment…