Click It: How to Bark Up Right Family Tree

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Cawley

HOW many software titles do you know of which contain 24 CD ROMs and a 100 page manual?

Not too many, I'd say, and I have to admit that for this review I have not examine the contents of each and every CD!

Broderbund's Family Tree Maker has dominated the genealogy software market for 10 years and even a cursory evaluation of this package will show you why.

Family Tree Maker is a tool to help you plot your family tree. It's commendably easy to use for those just starting to research their family history, but contains enough information - and links to further information - for serious genealogists.

The process is broken down into three distinct stages to help make the experience as painless and as intuitive as possible.

You start by entering what family details you already know. Naturally enough, the more information you can supply at this initial stage the more additional information you are likely to find subsequently.

Using the data you supply, the program then searches its information databases - both on the CD ROMs supplied and on Websites - to help you discover leads to further facts about your family history.

This second stage of exploring the links suggested by the software can be the most time-consuming, but ultimately the most rewarding, depending on the availability of relevant information and, not least, your powers of perseverance.

The third stage facilitated by the program is that of presenting the information you have found.

In the Publishing Centre you can generate a variety of reports, calendars, timelines and scrapbooks of family history, each of which can include scanned photographs and sound files. …