Category Archives: genealogy software

Back up your data with Mozy?

It seems this blog gets abandoned every few months, with life passing by and all that it involves making me forget about posting. It is nice to get back to it and I’m sure this blog is still being read as I receive comments on blog posts once every blue moon. I guess that’s what brought me back. There are people still out there who are searching the internet for more information about their Pakistani ancestry. I can’t promise my return will be permanent but I can say that I will be posting…

As it’s 1st of March, I will be backing up (some of) my data in accordance to geneabloggers ‘Data Backup Day’. I can’t say I am very good at this but atleast I’m trying. The importance of having your data secured is only fully known when something tragic happens and you lose large amounts of information.

Personally, I haven’t backed up my genealogy software data in a long time so this is a top priority. Currently, I am using Legacy 7.4 and will be backing up all information which includes 322 individuals and 90 families. Scanning old family photographs is one of those things that I intend to but haven’t got round to doing. I still haven’t bought a scanner for starters which many would say is a must for genealogists. Although, I do console myself that atleast I have protected my original photographs in some shape or form and that they are not cluttered in a mess somewhere. Also, there are birth, marriage, death certificates that need to be scanned and placed in archival containers. Additionally, I have a Word document that I need to backup as it contains lots of the data that exists in my database.

This brings me to Mozy, an online back up site. Having not tried it, I’m unable to comment on it’s good features or advantages but it’s another option to think about.

Let’s hope my computer stays alive..



Filed under backup, genealogy software

Installing Family Tree Builder 5.0

Back in November, MyHeritage announced the release of a brand new version of Family Tree Builder 5.0. I had downloaded the previous version some time ago and after using it a few times had begun to use Legacy as my main genealogy software. The release of the new version got me excited aboout the software again so I decided to upgrade to version 5.0

Here’s how I downloaded Family Tree Builder the first time:

  • Click on the download link
  • Choose custom install
  • Wait a few minutes..
  • Product registration:

First name, last name, gender, email address, password

  • Click next

But it wouldn’t let me register since the email address I provided was already being used. Did I have an account with MyHeritage already? I couldn’t remember so I checked my email inbox but alas no, I wasn’t a member. This meant someone else had already used the same email address as me so instead I used my Yahoo email which was annoying cos I didn’t really check emails from that account. How inconvenient!

This stuff was optional:

Birth year, address, city, country, post code, telephone

  • Then click finish

Then it asked me if I wanted to upgrade to a premium account I clicked ‘no’ and then it asked to enable automatic publishing for online backup, I clicked, ‘yes.’

So anyone else felt the urge to upgrade or to try out MyHeritage software?

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Filed under genealogy software

How to Organize Your Files

Here is a website I found that shows you how to organize the bits and pieces of paper that you have regarding your ancestors. gives you a guide on how to organize your information so you can easily find what you’re looking for without rummaging through piles of paper. It has a system for Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, MyTrees Online (haven’t heard of that one) and Personal Ancestral File software. I would suggest looking through these guides just to see what kind of ideas there are to try, maybe something will appear interesting. I found the explanation MRINs AND RINs really interesting as I didn’t know what they were before.

If you’re like me and you don’t have much papers to sort and pile (lucky or unlucky – you decide), then I wouldn’t bother with this. I’ve not reached the stage where I have many same names where I get confused about who I’m looking for. Additionally, most of my work is on my computer which means I can search and find material quicker.

Things you’ll need for this task:
* A genealogy software
* Binders/Folders
* Tabs
* Documents (sources etc)
* Time

Good luck to those trying to organize their work. Some day your children, grandchildren will appreciate your tidiness!

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Filed under genealogy software, learning

How to create a family group sheet

Last year I downloaded the free Legacy 7, and transferred my family tree file from PAF to the new software. Today, I thought I’d give a little guide on how to create a family group sheet.

Open your family tree file on Legacy:

Click on ‘Reports’ button on top and a window will appear, click on the ‘Family’ tab:

Type the full name of the chosen persons family sheet in the title box:

Click on the ‘Report Options’ icon and choose various information to be included and the format (whatever you prefer). I chose to include the RINs and MRINs.* You could also take out the christening date and place, which I realised afterwards!

You can then preview and print. Voila!

My preview looked like this:

*What are RINs and MRINs?

Each person in your database has a number called a Record Identification Number (RIN) and each family has a number called Marriage Record Identification Number (MRIN).

Can readers of this blog provide a guide to creating a family goup sheet with other software?

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Filed under genealogy software, learning

Buying family history software

Here is a list of genealogy software that is available online. It’s not a complete list as there are other softwares, less popular, that are used by genealogists too. Additionally, I’ve tried to include prices for people living in the UK, make sure you check out the links provided as older versions of the software can be bought for cheaper prices as well as deals being offered by the companies themselves.

Family Tree Maker 2010 Deluxe Edition: £39.99 plus delivery: £4.95 UK Standard and £4.95 UK Express £5.95


  • 3-month™ Essentials Membership* (worth over £32)
  • Family Tree Maker program CD-ROM
  • Family Tree Maker Getting Started Guide
  • Family Tree Maker Training Tutorial
  • 20% discount on Ancestry™ DNA Testing+
  • 25% off Mycanvas™ Printed Books & Posters+
  • Save up to £44 off Arrowfile Genealogy Albums & Acid Free Archival Pages+
  • 3 FREE ISSUES of your Family Tree Magazine when you subscribe for 1 year+

Rootsmagic 4 UK Edition
Basic £24.95 plus P+P: £2.50
Standard £24.95 P+P: £2.50
Platinum £49.95 P+P: £2.50

Family Tree Builder 4.0
Standard version: Free to download
Premium version: £54 which includes

  • Publishing of up to 2,500 names to your own family site (on your computer your family tree is unlimited)
  • Subscription of one year to a Premium family site
  • All-in-one charts
  • Smart Matches merging
  • Publishing of videos and documents online
  • Smart Research
  • Unlimited maps

Family Historian 4
Buy the software from various suppliers, check link.

Legacy v 7
Standard Edition : Free to download
Deluxe : $39.95 plus shipping $14.00 (other deals on offer too)

If there are other websites or stores that offer a better price then do get in touch and tell me about it! I’ll be sure to make updates on the blog.

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Filed under genealogy software

Inputting unknowns in family trees

What do you do when you don’t know the name of an ancestor but you need to add them to your database? Well, previously I had been recording ‘unknown’ for both first names and surnames I didn’t know. But then I decided I didn’t want all these ‘unknowns’ crowding my family tree so I started to look around to find ways of cleaning up my database.

I’m currently using Legacy 7.0 as my genealogy software, as you all know. So, I’ve decided to go with the following rules (not set in stone, mind you!) :

First name unknown

If first name is unknown then add the relationship to the person you are linking them with e.g. if Azhar Yasin’s wife is unknown add her to the database as “Wife Yasin”

Surname unknown

If the surname is unknown then add “–?–” e.g. “Rukhsar –?–“

Or, you can go find out the name of the missing ancestor :p

That should keep those pesky ‘unknowns’ out of your hair for a while but then you’ll have to deal with the ‘husbands’, ‘wives’, ‘brothers’, ‘sisters’ etc. But for me, I think it’s a better solution to adding unknowns to your database.

How would you standardize the unknown people in your database? Give me your feedback by leaving me a comment.

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Filed under genealogy software, names

Which genealogy software should I use?

I’m blogging again after a short absence since my laptop decided to give me a panic attack..

Until recently I wasn’t aware there were computer softwares that were available to family historians. But having looked at various genealogical websites, blogs and forums I realised people were actually using computer software to input their family trees and creating databases to store and organize their information. Well ofcourse, I had to check it out. Someone kindly suggested that I download Personal Ancestral File (PAF) which is a free genealogy software available from I used PAF for a short while and since it was my first time using a genealogy software I had to start my family tree from scratch. Later on I would learn that all genealogical software use a certain type of file called a GEDCOM file.

However, PAF have not introduced any new versions and the software itself does not display a visually pleasing interface. It seems bland and compared with new software that it’s in the market seems to lack in features. Therefore I went in search of a new software that would liven things up a bit. Something that would provide a fresh new look to my boring software.

I found .. Legacy 7.0.

I downloaded the standard edition from their website (click on the above link) and set up my family tree by importing my not-so-big GEDCOM file from PAF. This meant that I could just transfer whatever data I had input into PAF to Legacy without any fuss.

These are some of the features I liked:

1) Creating reports for individuals and families
2) Ability to view the ages of your ancestors at various events of their life
3) Marriage lists for couples
4) Ability to create charts from the data

5) Research guidance shows you what to search for and includes a to-do list

6) Ability to add pictures, sounds,
videos to individuals in your tree
7) Ability to write notes for individuals in general, or research notes or medical notes
and much much more!

Here’s a snapshot of a family sheet of one of my ancestors (first names have been blocked out):

I think I’ll stick with this software as it seems to do the job and I’m still working out how it all works since there is so much on offer. However, there are other softwares that are available such as Family Tree Builder and
Family Tree Maker. (Funny how they have similar names)

Note: Some of the features can only be accessed by upgrading to Legacy Deluxe Edition.

If you’d like to try out Legacy too, then click here for a beginners video. Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment.


Filed under genealogy software