An update on genealogy

Recently I blogged about the free genealogy program called Family Tree Builder that you can download from MyHeritage.com and how I had gotten involved with it because I wanted to see how the program worked and how easy or hard it was to enter information in it. Now I guess I should acknowledge that I am finding it hard to put aside.

Over the weekend, I created a free web page on their site to hold the data I’ve entered into the program thus far. I had some problems uploading the results of my work during the weekend, but on Monday I got a message from their Support group acknowledging they had had problems last weekend with uploads and that now the issues were resolved. So yesterday, I uploaded my genealogical data there. I also uploaded a small portion of the photos that I had entered into the program to the website too. The photos really enhance the experience because it makes the list of information less dry.

This morning, I’ve made more progress. I scanned, retouched and uploaded several old family photos to a set on my Flickr site, and I’ll be incorporating some of those into the genealogy database later today when time permits.

I had to jump through a few hoops to do the scanning because the scanner I have is an old Paperport 6000 that doesn’t work under Win XP. Fortunately, I still have the hard drive that contains my Windows ME installation in my computer, and I’ve installed Symantec’s BootMagic that permits me to select which OS I want to boot into at start up. So I went into the ME installation and did the scanning there. Frankly, scanners aren’t all that expensive and I probably should just get a newer scanner that works with XP and forget that ME drive altogether, but I’ll do that later when I’m rolling in dough, which of course I expect to happen at any moment now.

Although I hardly think of myself as a genealogy buff, I have to confess that pulling all these resources together is proving interesting and somewhat addictive. So if you don’t yet have enough addictions in your life, you might want to give it a try. If you are like me, partial to free things and resources on the Internet, Family Tree Builder and the MyHeritage web pages are a good place to start toying with genealogy. There may be better programs around; I can’t really say since I haven’t surveyed them all, but this particular free resource does a nice job of giving you a taste of why people enjoy tracing and compiling their genealogy. Fortunately, it also has the ability to export the data you’ve entered (as a GEDCOM file), so if you discover a better genealogy program in the future, that export file could be imported into the new software you have found and thereby save you the trouble of having to re-enter the data. And as we all would agree, data entry is a task best done only once.

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