Monday, May 23, 2011

An Open Letter to Genealogy Software Makers.

So far, I’ve paid for and downloaded four different genealogy programs. I’ve found that there isn’t one in particular that I like, but that there are certain go-to features in each that I use to accomplish what I’m trying to do.

There are things that would really make my life easier -

1 – A consolidated/automated to-do list.

What I envision is a tool that you can customize for what information you’d like to have for everyone in your tree. Say, First, Middle, Last Name, Spouse, Mother, Father, Birth Date & Location, Death Date & Location, Marriage Date & Location. The tool would then create a list of to-do items wherever those key facts are missing.

2 – An automated source/research list based on a person’s birth and death dates and location.

I have started an excel sheet that shows the records that are available for different states and the date ranges that they apply to – so this information is very much out there. What I haven’t found is a tool that automatically lists what might be out there for a person as you gather more information about them.

3 – Hint Leave Categorization.

On – I really wish that the leaves would be broken down into “Historical Documents” and “Family Tree Links”. As more and more people join the site and create their trees, people are ever linking to your tree. It would be really nice to not end up with 900 hints in your tree without being able to sort out the ones that actually do have something new or different, when it comes to trees, and which hints are new historical documents.

4 – people list sorting options.

The master trees in my research are always on One thing that can be super annoying when using the site is that the list of people isn’t sortable. It’s only listed in order by last name. Granted, you can filter by first name or last name, but it would be nice to view the list of people by birth or death date, or by location. That would facilitate searching for certain records.

I’m sure there are more, but I’ve been wanting to put these ideas out there for the amazing people that have gotten genealogy research as far as it’s come. Kudos to you all!

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