[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations

Earl Schultz Earl.Schultz at telusplanet.net
Mon Dec 29 16:59:47 PST 2014

Quite the discussion on genealogy software and some strong opinions out there, mine included.  I would like to suggest that this discussion is beyond the needs of most people on this listserve.  If someone asks what software people would recommend, I think there are several that people are happy recommending including Gramps and Legacy.  I can't speak for Gramps tho' I have just downloaded it and may give it a try.  I have a friend who tried it and didn't like it and went back to Legacy.  Maybe I will report what I see, if I can find the time.  However, I think most experts here would highly recommend that you not use Family Tree Maker for the obvious reasons that it does not keep your data is a reasonable format (no surname field, for example) and mangles Gedcoms, plus other reasons.

I think probably 70-90% of readers are already on Windows, most of the remainder on Macs, so open source is not necessarily a big thing for them.  Most don't have the computer skills to try to figure some of this out for themselves.  I consider myself to have a much better than average computer knowledge but investing the time to change is what I don't have.

Re Gedcoms...Peter is right that it is a standard that doesn't necessarily take all the data that individual programs may store.  It is intended to transfer data from one genealogy software program to another and it works well but not all genealogy programs use the latest version of Gedcom and at least one, FTM, does not follow any standard (I think it puts some events into Location/Place fields or vice versa).  The only way to transfer 100% of your data without change from one person to another is to use exactly the same program and the same version number.

People, if you want to go to another software program, download a few of them such as Gramps or Legacy Standard, both free, and give them a try.  Stay with the one you like.  The world won't fall apart if the company goes out of business.  You won't lose your data and you will have time to switch to something else.  Just keep whatever software you are using up-to-date and get to know others using the same software such as a user group.  That way you'll have some support as well.

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