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(46 Posts)
Anniebach Fri 31-Jul-15 09:40:54

Have been trying to understand this ! Am I correct ? I upload it on Ancestry and my tree will transfer to my p.c. ? I can then put it on softwear. Would be grateful for softwear recommendations , I have seen family tree maker but hoped there is one which costs less. Thank you

Elegran Fri 31-Jul-15 10:51:51

GEDCOM is the file type that is used by all the genealogy programmes to record all the details that you enter for your family members. you can transfer the GEDCOM file from one programme to another, and each will keep the links from one person to another and the notes you have added.

Online tree sites usually have a means to take a GEDCOM file of the data you have out in, and transfer it to a geanealogy programme on your PC. To work off line you still need a PC programme.

I have not used Familytreemaker, so I can't comment on it. It gives you access to Ancestry for a short time, which many people like, but Ancestry is biassed toward American genealogy which I didn't find all that helpful. You would be better with Findmypast for UK ancestors, and using FreeBMD to search.

I use Rootsmagic6 on my PC, which I like. Rootsmagic7 is now out, it has all kinds of ways to display your data and print out charts, and it does things like Internet searches of genealogy sites for you. is a site with reviews of the most popular programmes.

Elegran Fri 31-Jul-15 10:53:16

Sorry, mistypes - put, not out, and it put an extra a in genealogy.

Anniebach Fri 31-Jul-15 11:01:03

Thank you Elegran, I really am dense with PC speak , I will try Rootsmagic .
I use Find my Past, Ancestry and Family Search, I find the Ancestry Tree irritating

Elegran Fri 31-Jul-15 11:22:35

On looking at Rootsmagic, there seem to be different versions of RM7, and the cheapest ones doen't have the web search part - if I were you I would go for the one that costs about £35 - that is more or less what my RM6 cost, so it is probably the equivalent, but improved.

There is also a platinum version, but I don't know what unnecessary bells and whistles that one has.

mrsmopp Fri 31-Jul-15 12:15:57

I agree with comments about Ancestry. Whenever I search for a relative, even though I state English place names, Ancestry comes up with somebody in Ohio, or somewhere! it drives me mad. I have been using The Genealogist which helped me find lots of relatives and also has a very helpful message board.

Ancestry has 'hints" where a little green leaf flutters when you have a relative also in somebody else's tree. Delighted to make a connection, only to discover frequently that the person lives in the States and it is not a match after all.

Thanks for the info on roots magic - I will check it out as my subscription to the Genealogist has expired and I am looking for another site to continue building the tree. It is fascinating!

Anniebach Fri 31-Jul-15 12:45:05

Thank you Elegran , will do do.

mrsmopp, it's so annoying to have those long lists of names in America when looking for family who moved from Wales to Liverpool and those green leaf hints? how can a William Thomas brn in Trewalchmai, Anglesey and died there have any connection with a William Thomas brn in London

Elegran Sat 01-Aug-15 23:30:43

mrsmopp rootsmagic is not a site - it is a programme for your PC for entering people and facts as you find them. While editing a person, you can search existing internet sites for any mention of them.

Do you know about Cyndis List a site full of links to vast numbers of websites containing genealogical or background information, all listed under categories?

rosequartz Sun 02-Aug-15 10:32:07

This is a very useful and informative thread. I have been using Ancestry but have found it increasingly frustrating and also difficult to pull all the research together.
I will take a look at information on Rootsmagic - thank you all!
I have found a lot of mis-information on ancestry, usually in public trees through careless entries and then spread without thought by others.

Elegran Sun 02-Aug-15 11:23:50

Genes reunited is a useful source of info from others who are researching the same names and lines as you - but you do have to do your own checks on what they tell you, because not everyone is meticulous about making sure that what they would like to be true is actually correct.

You can search the site for individuals who match the data you have about people in your own tree, and correspond with them the same way as you can send private emails on GN, without revealing you personal email and postal addresses (unless you want to exchnage them- someone sent me some hard copies of some info relevant to both our trees)

Most counties and regions have online genealogy sites, too, with links on [[ Cyndis's List]] or you can search on Google for genealogy plus other things - an occupation, religion, sport, etc., or just for general work records of an occupation, or Union membership, or whatever. It is amazing how much there is out there.

Rootsmagic have pre-set data types to add - from property details to religion, education, military service and so on - with a box for a date and place. You can print out a sheet for an individual with all the notes on, or various kinds of trees, or several other kinds of information. I imagine all the genealogy programmes do much the same, but Rootsmagic suited me.

Elegran Sun 02-Aug-15 11:35:38

As well as the data on PC or online, it is worth copying your data onto a card or a memory stick, and getting as much as you can onto paper. That is where the ability to print out trees and individual summaries is so useful.

I bought a pack of 100 plastic sleeve folders in mixed (four) colours, the kind open at the top and one side and a corner clipped off to make it easier to open them. I designated one colour for my father and back through his father and beyond, one for his mother and back from her, one for my mother and back through her father, one for my mother and back through her mother. I print a page for each new person, with a reference number on it, and put each in a separate colour-coded folder along with a copy or print-out of each docuiment relating to that person - birth mariage and death certificate, census entrry, photograph, anything that gave more information about them. I keep these in a plastic crate, in order. I can find anyone quickly, and spread out documents on a table to show people the primary sources.

Elegran Sun 02-Aug-15 11:41:08

I printed out the whole of my family tree (on what seemed like millions of sheets of A4 paper) and stuck them all together to make one chart. That shows the whole lot in one go, (at a size that can be read!) with each person in their place. It spend most of its time rolled up, and gets replaced from time to time when there are enough new additions to make the repeated effort worth while. I have sent copies to relatives, though as separate sheets. I left them to do the sticking together!

Elegran Sun 02-Aug-15 12:08:23

Reference numbers are another thing. Genealogy applications number each new person as you enter them (that is how they internally do all the connections from one person to another - number 26 is married to number 27 and has children 31 32 33 and 41, for instance, though they add the right names when they display them to you)

That is no use as a paper filing system, though. You want yourself at number 1, your parents at 2 and 3, and so on. What I do is sytematically choose an extra reference number from Rootsmagic's list of set data types.

I t looks daunting at first, but once you start it all follows very simply. Basically, for direct ancestors (ignoring indirect siblings for the moment) the number for each father is twice the number of the child, and the number for each mother is twice that of the child, plus one.

So if I am 1
My father is 2, my mother is 3
M paternal gfather is 4, gmother 5, My maternal gfather is 6, gmother 7
The previous generation are 8 and 9, 10 and 11, 12 and 13, 14 and 15,
and so ad infinitum.

Nondirect ancestors (siblings of direct ones) I don't number at all - they are lumped in with their parents - but they can be labelled as, say, 4. 1 for the eldest child of my paternal grandfather - (that would be my Auntie Vi, and my cousin Marian would be 4.1.1 - the eldest child of my Auntie Vi)

The name for this system (which could be even more complicated if you like that sort of thing) is Ahnentafel. As it sounds, it is of efficient German origin.

Anniebach Sun 02-Aug-15 12:28:33

Elegran, you are a darling , I am jotting down all your advice,

I do have another question, if I download Rootsmagic can I copy it onto a disc ?

AshTree Sun 02-Aug-15 13:02:54

This is an interesting thread. I have only ever used Ancestry and am so familiar with it that I have been reluctant to use other sites. But I do agree how irritating it is when it continually suggests people in the US as possible search results when I've specified the person was born and died in the UK.

I think I'll investigate the other sites mentioned, particularly Roots Magic. Thanks for the link Elegran.

Elegran Sun 02-Aug-15 13:28:59

Annie It may tell you that on the Rootsweb site, but I do know that one thing you get with Rootsweb is what they call Rootwebs To Go, which is a version that you can put onto a disc or a USB data thingy. You can take that with you to another computer (in a family History Centre, and a relation's house, say) and add facts. When you get home you synchronise it with your PC copy, putting the later one over the older one, and it updates it. You do have to be careful not to synchronise in the wrong direction and lose a day's work! You can show someone else the on-screen view that way, too, on their PC.

You have to copy the file with all the data you have entered onto the disc alongside the Rootswe To Go app. Like everything, it seems a lot to learn the first time you use it - but it takes you through doing it all.

Anniebach Sun 02-Aug-15 13:48:20

That's just what I want Elegran thank you, I am so grateful

durhamjen Sun 02-Aug-15 13:54:40

I have just been reading the summer copy of Who Do You Think You Are magazine, and there is a free 3 month subscription to the genealogist. You have to buy the magazine to get an individual code.

I gave up with FindMyPast when it changed and became more difficult to use.

rosequartz Mon 03-Aug-15 10:15:27

Lost Cousins is very good - I haven't found any lost cousins yet but the chap who runs it is very friendly and helpful and regularly emails out a very useful newsletter, full of hints and tips.

durhamjen Mon 03-Aug-15 13:18:47

AshTree, the reason Ancestry suggests people in the US is because they want you to pay for their worldwide edition, which costs quite a bit more.

I keep getting messages from someone who insists one of my relatives is buried in the US, when I know she is in a crypt ten minutes drive away.

rosequartz Mon 03-Aug-15 15:24:15

Djen I have had the same, apparently my great-grandmother is buried somewhere in mid-west America according to someone's public tree. This person has the wrong ancestor and the wrong place but refuses to change her tree. She also insists we are descended from Henry VIII. Needless to say, she is American.
(I know DD1 has red hair but it is not inherited from the Tudors!)

I think many American place names are taken from British ones, and a careless click can also place ancestors wrongly.

mrsmopp Mon 03-Aug-15 16:17:15

I have taken advantage of a special offer of half price find my past. Now I need to move everything from Ancestry which I am not renewing for reasons already given. Must do the gedcom thing next & hope it works.
Thanks for the info about cindys list which is new to me.
I find it very engrossing!

PRINTMISS Mon 03-Aug-15 16:18:14

Evidently my husband is my son!

rosequartz Mon 03-Aug-15 19:45:21

How clever of you PRINTMISS grin - presumably in someone else's tree!

Never fails to amaze me what rubbish some people put in their trees!

Anniebach Wed 05-Aug-15 12:16:17

My husband is married to a woman in America, rather crafty of him considering I paid for his burial in 1976 and he is buried in Wales