[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations

Earl Schultz Earl.Schultz at telusplanet.net
Mon Dec 29 14:06:24 PST 2014

I always have to get my two cents worth in when it comes to software and I appreciate Gary and Peter's replies.  My experience is limited having used Family Tree Maker since it first came out and then switching about 8 years ago to Legacy.  I am so glad that I did and it taught me something about what makes good software and bad.

In addition to Gary's comments, FTM has two critical flaws.  It uses one field for NAME whereas most software uses one field for SURNAME and one for GIVEN NAMES.  So, if you don't know the person's surname and enter just Mary or John Jr., FTM will take "Mary" or "Jr" as the surname and exports that to other programs.  Second, FTM uses a proprietary format for Gedcoms that most other programs cannot import accurately.  There are standards for Gedcoms and FTM wants people to be stuck with their software, I assume, so they use proprietary formats that make compatibility with others a problem.  No good genealogy program should ever do those things.

Legacy was developed by genealogists and they are extremely responsive to customer comments and suggestions.  I've had many chats with them about things I'd like to see or bugs and frequently they make changes to the software.  Their Gedcom and ability to export a number of other ways makes transferring data much easier.  And I love the ability to correct misspellings, etc. in the entire database (12000 people) with only 2 clicks because of their Master Lists which Gary mentions.

Peter makes a good point about using open source software but it does not make the software better, just that the software can be changed, adapted and/or improved by many people so you don't lose anything if a company goes out of business.  If Legacy were to go out of business, I'd shop around and then export to the new software when I was ready.  No need to hurry as the software still works.

I have used several open source software in the past.  None have been as good as the software I've paid for.  I have not tried Linux which I do hear is very good.  However, my son who is a system developer and uses Linux tells me I can't run some of my software easily so I've not switched.

I do recommend Legacy to everyone.  It is extremely good software for a genealogist and likely will meet all your needs for less cost than many of the other commercial brands.

If you are switching from FTM to Legacy or some other program, you should know that FTM makes that conversion more difficult because of their format.  The sooner you switch the easier it will be.  If you want more conversion tips, contact me directly.


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:11:19 -0500
From: Peter <chamdo4ever at gmail.com>
To: Germans SGGEE <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Cc: MIKE MCHENRY <maurmike1 at verizon.net>
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations
	<CALr1thWKqPtCBOhrsRU7uDMHatk6tWRsVdRAKcqe4TwY8TrA+w at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Hi Mike,

Like I mentioned in my response to Richard, I was a user of The Master Genealogist for many years, but finally converted my TMG database to the Gramps software earlier this year ( https://gramps-project.org ).

There's a handy little software called tmg2gramps which was extremely helpful to me in that regard. There is no denying that using tmg2gramps takes a bit of effort, but I found it to be worthwhile as I was able to import all of my TMG data to Gramps with little or no loss. Details of using tmg2gramps can be found here:


Hope that helps,



More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list