Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Exploring Genealogical Websites and Applications

The four largest online genealogical databases and record repository websites get more than the lion's share of the attention and publicity in the greater genealogical community. But the overall number of programs out there on the internet is much larger. GenSoftReviews is the most available source for a list of these other genealogy websites and software programs. presently list 1033 programs both stand-alone and online. This number includes programs of all types and all platforms. 

One of the things you need to watch out for is that some of the highly rated and frequently reviewed programs are actually out of business and either no longer available or only available in "free" online unsupported copies not from the original developer. For example, Personal Ancestral File has current positive reviews but the program stopped being supported by FamilySearch, the developer in 2013, now seven years ago. The final version that is still available online was released in 2005. If this doesn't mean anything to you, then you will probably be one of those people who are surprised the day they cannot access their Personal Ancestral File information on their computer.

Another thing you might want to be aware of is that some excellent programs have almost no reviews and the website or programs are very much alive and well. A good example of this is the History Lines program with only 1 review from back in 2016. 

Notwithstanding those limitations, browsing through the list of programs gives you an understanding of the types of programs that are or may be available. All the programs are linked from their reviews and you can then find out more from the linked websites. Take some time to learn something new.


  1. James.
    Clicking on the link to History Lines produced an error message for me. Not sure why.

    1. Google's Blogger has changed the entire program recently and links do not work the same way they have for years. I think I have them fixed now. Sorry.