Research Tools

Here you will find links and reviews of research resources that I use. I will do more reviews on some of these tools in future blog posts and link to those reviews here. What products and resources to you like and use? Let me know!

SOFTWARE

Legacy Software

Legacy Family Tree Software. I have been using Legacy’s Family Tree database for a long time. They have a free version which has some limitations, but the Deluxe Edition is pretty inexpensive ($29.95). I’ve grown accustomed to their user interface and like the support community (they offer webinars, user groups, and more). The only drawback is that it doesn’t sync very easily with data from websites like Ancestry.com. This may not be Legacy’s fault; it could be complications on Ancestry’s end or my level of experience with databases (which is above average!). I am also not happy with Legacy’s built-in webpage feature; I have to do too much editing to make the family charts usable and attractive on the web. Nonetheless, if you were to choose different software, we can share database information by exchanging GedCom files (this is a file format option in any genealogy software…it’s the common language of genealogy databases). If you choose Legacy, I can provide some user support!

The Next Generation Software

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding. I discovered TNG’s genealogy database software while watching a live stream from the RootsTech conference in February 2012. It was exactly what I was looking for in order to provide web access to my Legacy data. Legacy has the capability to produce web pages, but the pages are based on static HTML tables, whereas TNG’s pages are dynamically generated as they are called. TNG comes with out-of-the-box design templates for you to use, and overall the installation is fairly easy. But, I wanted the database to look more integrated with my existing blog, so I did a fair amount of customization. This requires good knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP. The support from the company and the user community is excellent. You can see other user sites and demos on the TNG website. Highly recommended!

WEBSITES

Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is a subscription services that I have been using for some time. It provides access to a lot of databases and digitized resources that would otherwise be very cumbersome to research indvidually. I believe you can link to my family tree there, but you may need to create an account to view it. If you are a paid subscriber, I can give you access to my tree (request this when logged in to ancestry.com). For the most part, the information on my Ancestry page agrees with my Legacy database, but I am currently working on data cleanup (what a headache!). Ancestry is great because I have connected with several relatives I previously didn’t know about, and who have helped fill in some blanks in the tree! Ancestry also has cool features like forums where you can post information about relatives you are looking for (for example, they have boards dedicated to the surname “Morrison” and to “New Caledonia”! There are also some terrific genealogy training resources.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

Scotland’s People provides subscription access to many kinds of Scottish records: births, marriages, deaths, and census information. It can get expensive; since I have already paid for a lot of records here, save your pennies and ask me if I have the documents you are looking for first! The beauty of this site is records are mostly centralized…unlike France!

Les Archives départementales de la Haute-Saône

Les Archives départementales de la Haute-Saône. Many of France’s online archives are handled regionally, as is the case for Haute-Saône, the region in France where the Martin family line originated. Unlike the Scottish archives, access is free and you can find wonderful documents here (I even found a marriage certificate for my great-great-great grandparents with their signatures, which really made them come alive!). If you don’t read French though, navigating the site will be difficult. Again, ask me if I have the documents you are looking for, or I can help you with a search. Other regions of France are sometimes more, sometimes less advanced in providing documents online. I have many more French links; I will organize and share them soon.

BOOKS

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors is a great introduction to researching your ‘clan’. I’ll review this book in a blog post soon.

Much more to come soon!