Tips for Using Genealogy Software

If you are interested in delving into your family history, you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world are using genealogical software to research their genealogy and build detailed family trees. Genealogy software can make it easy to keep track of the vast amounts of data and information you gather during your research. However, there is a bit of a learning curve when you first start using these programs. Here are some tips to help you navigate the world of genealogy software.

Choose the right software

There are many different genealogy software options available on the market today. Some are more user-friendly than others, and others have more advanced features. Before you choose a program, be sure to read reviews from other users to find out what they like and dislike about each option. You might also consider downloading a trial version of the software to test it out before you commit to purchasing it.

Start with what you know

When you first start using genealogy software, it can be tempting to dive right in and start entering the names and dates of your ancestors. However, it's best to start with what you know. Begin by entering information about yourself, your parents, and your grandparents. Then, start talking to relatives to gather more information about your family history. With each new piece of information, you can continue to build your family tree.

Add sources and citations

As you gather information about your ancestors, be sure to record your sources. This includes things like birth and death certificates, census records, and family bibles. Many genealogy programs allow you to add citations to your family tree, which can help you keep track of where you found each piece of information. Adding sources and citations is important if you want to be able to verify the accuracy of the information in your family tree.

Utilize online databases and resources

There are many online databases and resources that can help you in your genealogy research. Ancestry.com is one of the most popular options, but there are many others as well. These databases can provide you with access to things like census records, military records, and immigration records. Many genealogy software programs allow you to connect to these databases directly from within the program, which can save you time and make your research more efficient.

Organize your data

As you gather more and more information about your family history, it can quickly become overwhelming. Genealogy software can help you keep track of all of this data and organize it in a way that makes sense to you. You might consider creating custom fields within the program to track information that is important to you, such as occupation or religion. You can also create different views of your family tree to help you focus on different branches or generations.

Backup your data regularly

One of the most important things you can do when using genealogy software is to backup your data regularly. There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of research due to a computer crash or other issue. Be sure to backup your data to an external hard drive or cloud storage regularly, and consider keeping a physical copy of your research in a safe place as well.

Continue to learn and grow

Genealogy research is a constantly evolving field, and there is always more to learn. As you become more experienced with genealogy software, consider attending workshops or conferences to learn new techniques and best practices. Joining genealogy organizations or online communities can also provide you with opportunities to connect with other researchers and learn from their experiences.

  • Remember to start with what you know.
  • Add sources and citations to verify the accuracy of your data.
  • Utilize online databases and resources to streamline your research.
  • Organize your data in a way that makes sense to you.
  • Backup your data regularly.
  • Continue to learn and grow as a researcher.

By following these tips and investing some time and effort into learning how to use genealogy software, you can create a comprehensive family tree that will be a valuable resource for generations to come.