Category Archives: Software

Your Genealogical Family Tree on the Palm of Your Hand

I am pretty sure that by now you already know that Ancestry let’s you put your family tree online for free. Just make sure to change the privacy settings if you do not want to share your tree with everyone. I have mine set to private and have my online family tree linked to Family Tree Maker on my computer. The synchronization of both is seamless and very easy.

Honestly at the beginning I only had my tree online for back up purposes but since then I have also invited other people to contribute and see my tree online. Ancestry makes this very easy. What is great about having your tree online is that it is a free service from Ancestry. If you don’t have Family Tree Maker you can just upload your Gedcom file and it will only take a few minutes for it to appear. Continue reading

How to Manage Your Growing Genealogy E-Book and Magazine Collection

As technology changes and everyone goes digital we are finding our selves with an ever increasing number of genealogy e-books and or digital magazines. Sometimes it can get hard to find just what you want or need when you need it. The following software was made with this in mind and it is made by Adobe the leading PDF software developer. Continue reading

Get a Hard Drive in the Cloud: Online Storage for your Genealogy Research

boxnetlogoWhat if the files you need are on your laptop, but you’re on the road with your iPhone or Android device? With the following service, you store files online and then access them anywhere, anytime, on any device. Having a back up plan for your Genealogy research and files should be one of your main priorities. You  should always have them stored in a secure location in the cloud. Continue reading

Ancestry App for Android – How I am Using It

By now I am pretty sure that almost if not all of you have heard about the Ancestry App for android is out. If I am not mistaken it was released on December 21st. I had previously played with it on a friends Ipad but had heard that it was limited to only 10,000 names, if true or not I am not sure do don’t quote me.

Well anyways I have a Kindle Fire and I really like the application since it downloaded my 15,000 plus database and it is also available offline. Since I mainly use it to just display it to family members and also easy way to have it available at a moments notice. If you have not done so here you can get it Ancestry App. You can also read more about it.

Please note that in order to get your tree into the app you have to upload your gedcom to your account but the good thing is that it is free to create an account and have your tree online. Just make sure to select the appropriate security settings for your tree.

Image of app on Android Phone:

Image from


Microsoft’s SyncToy – Keeping Your Genealogy Data Backedup

SyncToy Logo

On an earlier post I wrote about using DropBox to keep your Genealogy data safe, but for those of us that may be looking for another approach here is SyncToy from Microsoft.

I found SyncToy a few years ago and I have been using it since then. As some of you all know the method I use to organize my Genealogy documents is a Folder Tree method. This folder contains numerous sub-folders and in them there are over 34,000 files (by files I mean scanned documents, photos, etc..). The size is almost four gigabytes of data.

What SyncToy does is keep two folders synchronized. The way I have mine set up is that I am using an old computer that I had lying around and I am using it as a network storage. I have a network drive mapped to a shared folder on it or you can simply attach a USB Drive to your computer. Then after you setup SyncToy to monitor both the folder on your computer and your shared forlder, SyncToy takes care of the rest. The first sync may take from a few minutes to hours depending how many files you may have. Once the first sync is done the subsequent syncs will only sync any new files or modified files making the process super fast. If you do not have network storage like I do, it also works with external hard-drives and USBs.

If you ever want to access your files through the web look into Abyss Web Server, No-Ip, and eXtplorer file manager, I currently have access to all my documents from anywhere. Setting up and hosting your own server can benefit many Genealogist but unfortunately it is too technical for this post.

I only keep my Gedcom database in Dropbox. My pictures, over 25,000, I have them backed up on my home server and as added security on DVD’s tucked in my fire and flood proof safe. Everything else, in my opinion, is replaceable.

Description From Their Web Site

SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder. –



Family Tree Builder – One of My Favorite Genealogy Software Programs

I have been using Family Tree Builder since I can remember, for sure since before 2005. As time goes on it has evolved into a more robust solution to manage your family tree. If you are looking for a good program to manage your family’s information and don’t have much money, you are in luck.

This program is completely free, and if you ever want to get its full functionality you can, but then you would have to pay for it. So far I am very happy with the free version and have not seen the need to upgrade. Give it a try. I have tried several paid programs and won’t mention them but I just feel (my own opinion) that they are too cluttered and navigation is kind of cumbersome. I currently manage over 15,000 names and Hundreds of Photos and Documents with Family Tree Builder.

Family Tree Builder in Action with sample Gedcom:

Download the free software:

Free Software to Help You Transcribe Your Genealogy Records

Transcribing records for your Genealogy research is  a must and I know that at one point you will have to do it, and that is why I am writing this post. I want to let you know about the program that I personally use. I had already briefly mentioned this piece of software on an earlier post. Well, today I took the time to give it the justice that it deserves. Continue reading

Podcast Manager for Your Genealogy Podcasts

What It Is

Let me tell you a bout a tool that I like and use a lot. It is Gpodder a  free podcast aggregator that can download both audio and video podcasts. It can also play them and keep track of them. The description on their we site is:

gPodder — simple, usable podcast consumptionDownload free audio and video content (“podcasts”) from the Internet and watch it on your computer or on the go. –

How I Use It

As you can guess I use it to download genealogy podcasts and also other podcast that are of interest to me. The software comes in a zip file and once you unzip it just click on the file named gpodder.exe and the program will start. For a user manual and how to tweak gpodder please visit their Wiki Page.

Available Genealogy Podcasts

If you know of any other great genealogy podcasts please leave me their address in the comments, I’ll be glad to check them out.

Screen Shot of Gpodder in Action –

What is neat about gpodder is that it can be used with a free service to help you track your podcasts which you have subscribed on your devices, desktop computer, notebook, mobile devices, etc. Whenever you change computers or use another computer once you install gpodder you can enter the username and password created at and it will automatically sync your subscriptions. By Using this website you can also search a directory of available podcasts and also subscribe to them.

Other Devices

You can also configure gpodder to synchronize to your devises and keep track of listened podcasts. I use this all the time with my android phone.

If you don’t have a podcast manager give this one a try and you never know you might have just had found what you were looking for.

HTTrack Website Copier and How it Might Help You in Your Genealogy Research

This is one of those programs that I have been using since as far back as I can remember. This program will let you copy an entire website for browsing offline later on. Please read the following description from their website and then read my suggestion on how to use this program in your Genealogy research.

“HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility. It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the “mirrored” website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.” –

Now that you know exactly what HTTrack is let me tell you how I use it on my Genealogy research and maybe you all can use it the same way. While doing my research I have come across websites that are full databases and the ancestors mentioned there are too many to copy, print, or annotate. What I do instead is download the entire website using this program and place the entire thing on my sources folder.

Then when I am away from home and have no connection to the internet I can continue doing my research on that particular website. Where it comes super handy is when the website you are looking for no longer exists. This has happened twice but luckily I had made copies of them and I still continue to cite them. Hope that you all find this program useful.

Please note this only works on websites that have .html extension and will not work on wordpress websites.

To download go to: