Talking of computers . . .
Should a beginner have their own personal family history recordkeeping system on their own computer? Isn’t new FamilySearch (nFS) enough? I feel quite strongly – but this is just my opinion and not policy – that each of us should have our own recordkeeping system on our own computer! Why? nFS will not let you see full information on living members of your family. One day nFS will have a good system for sources, notes and media files but currently it doesn’t – although I know they are working on these things
. . . but you can see the data on the family tree in nFS is there a way to download it into PAF or similar recordkeeping program? There is a free program called Get Your Ancestors, approved as a 3rd party product by FamilySearch, that will let you download generations of information which you can use to create your own file. Available at http://www.ohanasoftware.com or through link on sign in page for nFS.
Which program would you suggest for a beginner? Something simple! I would suggest PAF or one of the products approved by FamilySearch to work with nFS. One of them is called Rootsmagic Essentials and like PAF is free. I haven’t tried Rootsmagic Essentials yet. To see the list of products certified to work with nFS go to the sign in page for nFS and click on the link in the lower right “Click here for free, trial, and other products for new familysearch.” There is a quite a list! Some of them are free websites like All My Cousins that is interesting. The stand alone products (and I hope I’m not missing any out!) are in alphabetical order: Ancestral Quest, Family Insight, Legacy FamilyTree (nearly functional with nFS), Rootsmagic, and Rootsmagic Essentials. All are good products. Ancestral Quest and Family Insight can help your PAF file synchronize data with nFS. Synchronize means that these products can move pieces of data from your file into nFS and also move pieces of data from nFS to your file. PAF remains a viable product if you like using it and are willing to learn an intermediary product. Ancestral Quest, Legacy and Rootsmagic are alternatives to PAF.
This is like selecting between a Chevy and a Ford! You will often hear strong - often emotional voices – advocating one product over another, but each of us needs to select what we feel meets our needs. Try to be nice to each other over your choices!