What is family history software? Simply put, it is computer software that helps you outline your ancestry, the past people of your life, and from where you came. As such, individuals can often search back many generations when creating a family tree. Not all family history software is the same, however, and your genealogy research will flow much more smoothly if you find the software that works best for you and your budget.
Genealogy software can range from free to hundreds of dollars. This price can be for stand-alone software, or for the software plus ongoing monthly services, such as access to family records. Often some vendors will allow you to try their basic services as a free trial, but be sure to check the fine print. Many free trials include a monthly service fee after the first week or month. Before you pay for any software, be sure to search online for “family history software freeware” or “family history software shareware.” You may find just what you need for little or no money whatsoever.
Some folks may find one software package that works better for them in relation to their searches. This does not always mean that this is the same result someone else may have. Since these websites often search different background information and public records, names may be found in one system which are not found in another.
While it is good to know the software package which is going to work best for you, you can still continue to search for others. You may even want to use more than one. For example, you could pay for one and continue to check out free trials in the event that there may still be another, better program out there for your specific needs.
Of course, your knowledge about past family members is essential to success. If you know some specific details about an individual ancestor, such as birth date or location, you can often find more records relating to that person. However, even if you only have limited information, you can often find at least one match on a family birth, location, or event. Still, the more information you can provide the better in order to obtain the most accurate records related to your family history.
If you need to do a public search, you can do so simply by typing in a family last name. Generally you must have at least one family last name in order to search on such records since first names are much too common. Once the results from the family last name are displayed, then you can sort through the listings (and there will probably be many) to see if there’s a match to the name and location you are seeking.
Be sure to consider your family budget before choosing your family history software. If funds are tight, there are many free programs available. Also, be sure to check out the many free trials available online.
Some of these websites allow free trials, some limited and some without limitation. Free trials are a great way to check out the software before buying it. Whatever family history software package you decide on, there is no doubt it will bring hours of fun, information, and joy to you and your family for years to come.