Posted in Software, Websites

Desktop Genealogy Program or Online Family Tree?

Have you wondered whether you should bother to use a desktop genealogy program now that online family trees are popular and feature-filled?  Folks ask me this all the time.

Donald Duck Family Tree
Donald Duck Family Tree

In today’s edition of the RootsMagic News (RootsMagic is a popular desktop program) an article by Renee Zamora appeared which discusses this and sums up the reasons why both are useful for genealogists.  She gave her permission to reprint the article in the RootsMagic News, and provided a PDF version that is shareable.  I liked it enough to share here.   Check it out for yourself.

For the question of which desktop genealogy program is best, I always tell folks to download the trial version of programs they are interested in.  Most of the major programs, such as RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Ancestral Quest, and Family Tree Maker, have a free trial or basic version.  The best program will be the one that feels most intuitive to you.

Simpsons Family Tree
Simpsons Family Tree

They all are powerful and are likely to have everything you could hope for, but it comes down to which one you will actually feel comfortable using.  It doesn’t matter how robust a program is if you are overwhelmed or confused by it.  So give them all a test-drive like I did, and settle on the one that feels best.  I happen to use Legacy Family Tree because it suits the way I research and organize myself, but you may prefer one of the other excellent choices.

Posted in Books, Photos, Research tips

Jack Gooch, Sheriff of ?

I came across this old photo of my great-grandfather, Jack Gooch and thought I would share it.

Jack Gooch sheriff  3 color adjusted and cropped

The back reads, “old tintype, Grandpa Gooch” in my grandmother’s handwriting, but I don’t think it is a tintype after reading about the characteristics of a tintype in Maureen A. Taylor’s book Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs, 2nd Edition (Cincinnati, Ohio : Family Tree Books, 2005).

He is wearing what I presume to be a sheriff’s badge, but I don’t know when or where he was a sheriff.  This is going to take some detective work.  Hmmmm.

This chronology report, printed from my Legacy Family Tree genealogy program will give me a starting place for my search—Llano and Ellis Counties, Texas, Nichols Hills and Pottawatomie Counties, Oklahoma, and Greenlee County, Arizona. If I can date the picture type it might help me narrow down the localities I need to search.

Jack Gooch Chronology report printed from Legacy Family Tree by Dayna Jacobs.
Jack Gooch Chronology report printed from Legacy Family Tree by Dayna Jacobs.

Your genealogy software has a variety of reports that will help you in the research process.  Explore this feature by looking at the “print” or “reports” option and see what your program has to offer.