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Nearly lost it all!

(18 Posts)
Elegran Fri 28-Feb-14 14:45:03

I have just returned to my family history after five years away from it for one reason or another.

Since I last looked at it, I have bought a laptop to replace my PC, but I'd kept the PC alive in the corner (so I thought!) All I needed to do (ha ha) was to transfer all the data to another copy of Family Origins on the laptop, or failing that to a new copy of Personal Ancestral File. I had both apps on the PC, one good for seeing data, the other better for printing out hard copy.

First problem - Family Origins CD would not load into Windows 7.
Second problem - Personal Ancestral File is no longer supported or available for download, since September 2013.
Third problem - PC will not boot up properly.

Panic! I have printed copies of the records of all direct ancestors, but there are a lot of indirect individuals, brothers and sisters of direct ancestors, and a lot of ancillary notes about people.

Light dawned! I took Gedcom files of the data at one point and filed it away. Oh, heck, where is it? Searched every old CD I could find. no sign. Could find DH's family, but not mine. It eventually appeared on a USB stick at the back of a drawer. Don't ask.

New question - which app to load it into? I am out of touch with what is good. Back to the Family Origins site, which mentions a replacement (RootsMagic) for $29. Mmmm. A lot of money. Back to the LDS site, do they have a free app? No but they have Rootsmagic for $19.95 - with free lite version.

Downloaded free version. Imported Gedcom. Result! All is Ok. Phew.

mollie Fri 28-Feb-14 17:19:59

OMG! Phew indeed. Have to say this is a big worry for me as I keep a lot of information and research on a laptop and use Family Tree Maker and try to keep that updated. I've been tempted to make my research totally digital but with technology changing frequently I imagine having to keep updating and buying more software just for the family tree! Or anything else that is kept digitally I suppose...

Elegran Fri 28-Feb-14 17:34:28

I have paper copies of what is relevant to the main direct ancestors - mostly! It means that as well as entering information into the app I also have to add it to the paper copy, or print out a new version of the app summary for that person and file it appropriately. It doesn't always happen!

durhamjen Fri 28-Feb-14 18:12:40

I keep thinking I ought to put it online or on a treemaker of some sort. My husband used to do all that, but since he died I haven't had the heart to do it. I still find things out, but I have two boxes full of paperwork. Could never be paperless. I send for wills and birth/marriage/death certificates when I am sure of the details.
My son was going to buy me a treemaker last year for my birthday, when I told him which one I wanted. It's nearly come round again and I still do not know. My husband was using genesreunited, but the problem with that site was that if you noticed a mistake, you had to remove all the ones you had put on after and then rewrite them. Hard work.
Any suggestions?

Elegran Fri 28-Feb-14 18:34:28

I used Genes Reunited for a while, but I found that the tree got very complicated if you added all the brothers and sisters of direct relatives, and if you didn't, you missed out on some connections with other members. Then i found that I was getting emails from people who were so far removed from my line that there was no hope or point in exchanging information. In the end I pruned down my GR tree to the minimum. I have kept up my membership, but have not used it for some time now.

"Family Origins" for the PC was a nice simple to use computer app until it became obsolete. "Rootsmagic 6" is its successor and I think it will be as easy to use. It looks as though it will have the nice print-out charts and trees that I used to use Personal Ancestral File for (until THAT became obsolete)

Whatever PC app you choose, bear in mind that it will not be supported for ever, so you need paper copies and GEDCOMS too. All modern apps will accept GEDCOMS so you can transfer your hard-earned facts easily into a new app if you have to.

mrsmopp Fri 02-May-14 22:54:44

I have the Ancestry app on my ipad and have done a lot of research on various branches of the family. My subscription to Ancestry has now run out, but I still have the app to refer to. However today I discovered that all the censuses I had meticulously saved have now vanished and I can't access them till I sign up for Ancestry again. I am annoyed because I thought that as I was paying for the service I could keep the records I had found.
I am kicking myself now for not printing them off when I had the chance.

durhamjen Sat 03-May-14 01:27:12

That's a good tip, Mrsmopp. I have both Ancestry and Findmypast, and someone suggested that buying one one year and one the next would be a good idea. Save me some money, too. It would be necessary to have them overlap, to make sure I can transfer from one to the other. They are both GEDCOM, I think.

Pittcity Sat 03-May-14 20:27:37

I use It's free and you can import your gedcom and it makes a website for you that is easy to edit and search. You can make it private with password access or public so others researching the same people can contact you.

Silverfish Sat 03-May-14 20:33:40

ive got the 1901 census on cd rom but my computer will not work with cd roms now, is it possible to transfer them to something else like a memory stick etc. my computer runs windows 7.

yogagran Sat 03-May-14 23:16:19

Thanks for that Pittcity I'll investigate that website. I've used for some time but it's an annual fee and quite expensive so a free option is much more tempting

Nelliemoser Sat 03-May-14 23:28:50

I have used kith and Kin Pro for years. It's probably one of the smaller ones but its reasonably easy to use.

Elegran Sat 03-May-14 23:31:24

yogagran You need an app to store your data on your PC or laptop, as well as online. There are lots of them out there, but I have found Rootsmagic very good.

Nelliemoser Sat 03-May-14 23:35:12

(Kith and Kin is the software for recording) , I use Find my Past which is not cheap but you should take into account that you are far less likely to have to travel to record offices when you can access most stuff online now. However the record offices are still essential for a lot of stuff.

I will never know who my PGF was though.

Elegran Sat 03-May-14 23:37:27

I will never know who one of my gt grandfathers was, Nelliemoser My mother had a couple of clues but nothing that could lead anywhere.

Elegran Sat 03-May-14 23:41:20

With Rootsmagic you can do various web searches direct from the PC record of the person you are working on, which saves a bit of typing in names into the browser or finding the website, including seaching Ancestry nd some others.

Pittcity Sun 04-May-14 09:33:50

Tribalpages is only for storage and displaying your tree as a website. It does not have all the brilliant search features of ancestry which I think is worth every penny.

GreatauntieLinda Tue 02-Sep-14 15:35:52

Family Tree Maker Platinum on Amazon £49.99 and you get six months subscription to Ancestry. The subscription alone is probably worth the money. I've been researching our family trees for about 15 years and back up to an external drive. Don't believe in uploading it to Ancestry. Just keep it for within the family.

Happy hunting.

Mamie Tue 02-Sep-14 15:56:24

You can actually get Ancestry by the month. I just buy a month or two every year, check out what is new and update my files.
I have found some long lost relations through making the tree public.