Genealogy Software and Digital Preservation

Because genealogists now use computers to access online resources, they tend to accumulate more information more quickly than before. Using computer software to organize, manage, and backup makes more sense than ever.

Gedcom is the universal file format for genealogy and all software understands it.

  • Legacy A very full-featured commercial software program, absolutely free. If you try it and like it, the "Pro" version is worth investing in.
  • More software This section of Cyndi's List is full of other options. Macintosh users might consider Reunion 11.
  • Personal archiving The Library of Congress' guide to preservation of personal digital information such as photos and documents.

Other ways to Organize

If you prefer to organize using paper, files and filing cabinets, binders, notebooks, here are some tips:

Sharing Genealogy Online & in Print

Collaborate, share online, or publish genealogy research

1. Share your family tree online

  • is freemium a collaborative, moderated community built with open source software. It is more truly global than other services. A free account allows you to upload, but searching is restricted. But you can search using an advanced google search restricting to the domain and share links to search results with family and friends.
  • WikiTree is free, has similar features to Ancestry's Trees, allowing you to share/publish family trees online.
  • Ancestry's Trees allows users to share or "publish" their family trees online. It's convenient, easy, and attractive. It's possible to sign up for an account and do this for free, but a paid individual subscription to Ancestry provides more options and features (such as the ability to download others' documents, photos and other attachments and upload your own). Many people subscribe for a few months, then unsubscribe.

2. Blog about your Family's History

3. Write a Book about your Family's History