Best way to keep track of family tree?

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DeFilippis78
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Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 15 Feb 2010, 18:37

I was wondering if anyone has preferences how to keep track of a huge family tree. Many years of research has me at 106 people on my tree. Is the old pen and paper and pedigree charts still the best route or is software the best way to go? Or maybe a mix of both? I just want to hear everyone's tips on how they organize large trees.

Alicia

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carolinechurch
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby carolinechurch » 16 Feb 2010, 01:03

Hi Alicia,
I'm a big fan of the good old pen and paper - I have two enormous roll-out charts, one for my father's side and one for my mother's. I ruled them up on heavy duty 160gsm paper with lines across for separating each generation, and I make new additions in pencil so I can correct them if I need to. I find they make so much more sense to me - I can instantly see where everyone is, and how they fit together. They are also great for showing the tree to other people. Of course I have to re-do them every so often as I run out of space or make too many changes.

My first venture into putting it all onto the computer was through www.ancestry.co.uk. I have about 700 people, and I love having all of them there to be shared with other researchers, and that I can add media and links to them, but know that if I give up my membership at any point that's the end of it.

I have downloaded a very simple free software package through www.familysearch.org (PAF 5) but it only goes back a few generations and is too basic, so I keep meaning to look for something that more closely reproduces the ancestry format if anyone can recommend a good one that doesn't cost the earth.
Incidentally, does anyone know how to download the information you have on ancestry to your own computer? It doesn't seem that you can?

Good luck and keep having fun!
Caroline.
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 16 Feb 2010, 01:10

Wow 700 people! Im not that lucky. My family has been in America only 100-120 years so the rest is delving into Italian documents. Thats when it gets interesting. Ive seen good reviews for ancestry's new version of software for keeping records. I wonder if anyone here has tried it?

Alicia

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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby carolinechurch » 16 Feb 2010, 01:16

Some of my 700 are not direct lines, but it has been well worth my time adding them in to my tree on Ancestry as they are constantly throwing up 'hints' to other people researching the same family lines, and two heads are always better than one in digging needles from haystacks!
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 16 Feb 2010, 01:24

Oh I see, like distant cousins and their wives, husbands and kids, stuff like that? Ive thought about doing that but I try to keep very close to my blood line. This way when my kids or grand kids come across it some day it will be easier to decipher. Im just so afraid I will lose all the info and all the numerous records I have and I want to organize them.

Alicia

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carolinechurch
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby carolinechurch » 16 Feb 2010, 01:33

Yes, but not too distant!
I used to think it was a bit silly and almost 'showing off' to have as many people as possible in my tree, but I have found some very valuable information by checking brothers and sisters and cousins.
Sometimes they have better records which can take you back to parents, or their transcriptions are clearer, or have better spelling. It can often confirm something you're not sure about too, just by tying up the loose ends with all the complicated little connections.
I've hooked up with other researchers similarly, and found long lost or unknown cousins,and even someone adopted out at birth and missing for 60 years!
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.

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Sal
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby Sal » 16 Feb 2010, 15:42

Caroline, I fit into the "showing off" group you mention. Bear with me please. I was lucky that my mother came from a village where her ancestors have been since the 15th century (unfortunately I have not been able to trace that direct line that far back due to destruction of records in an 1802 fire).

I started knowing only the village name and my grandfather's info. Working with the microfilms and other sources, I was able to trace back to the 1700s on her direct line. I decided to abstract as many records as I could of this village of 550 people and put them into my family tree program (I use Rootsmagic). This resulted in leads to distant cousins, finding of siblings of my ancestors, marriages and remarriages, etc. Notations on some of the records in the films led me to other nearby villages where ancestors had moved, which in turn gave me leads to other branches of my ancestry.

I put some of the info up on my website, and got to be known as a researcher of the village. I helped others researching the area,and in turn received leads that were invaluable. I guess the moral is to (as we do here) help others as much as possible since you never know when that help will be reciprocated by learning a small fact that can open a door. The best example is when I helped someone with info in my database and she let me know of a book written by a researcher in the village of Segno (Trentino) who traced his family tree to the 1400s using archives in the village and the province. One of my g-g-g-grandmothers family was in the book!!
Researching Iob (Job, Yob), Dalpiaz, Zanon in villages of Cunevo and Flavon (Trentino) and Romano in Spadafora (Sicily).
www.trentinoheritage.com

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 16 Feb 2010, 20:26

But has anyone tried any software besides the small one from family search?

Alicia

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Sal
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby Sal » 16 Feb 2010, 21:24

I have been using Rootsmagic for a few years. No problems and does a good job. It has good charts and reports, but not as fancy as some others. You can get a free download of Rootsmagic at www.rootsmagic.com . It is not the full version, but has most of the items you will need. A comparison between the free and full versions is at http://www.rootsmagic.com/RootsMagic/Features.aspx .
Researching Iob (Job, Yob), Dalpiaz, Zanon in villages of Cunevo and Flavon (Trentino) and Romano in Spadafora (Sicily).

www.trentinoheritage.com

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 16 Feb 2010, 21:25

Thanks for the tip!

Alicia

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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby carolinechurch » 17 Feb 2010, 04:15

Thanks Sal, I think I might give it a try too, it looks promising, and not too expensive.

That's so wonderful that you have done so well tracing your roots and been able to share your information with other researchers.
I just wish I could find something to help me move on with mine. Maybe someone just like you will pop out of the woodwork one day and fill in some gaps for me!
All the best,
Caroline.
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.

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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby stuartcapaldi » 17 Feb 2010, 14:41

Caroline

I use excel spreadsheets. You have still to maintain a manageable number.

So I start from great grandparents i.e 8 spreadsheets one for each gr grandparent.

Spreadsheets are easy to draw the lines also you can view siblings and cousins in row by row.

Also when printing on excel each spreadsheets print "fit to one page" in landscape

If one branch gets too large you can always start from one generation back e.g gr gr grandparents.

For an example go to my web site www.capaldi-clan.com where you can see my Italian branch
Stuart Capaldi

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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby Romano1970 » 17 Feb 2010, 15:33

I am as well a huge fan of the pen and paper. I have three five subject note books with a section for each family I have come accros. I also feel sometimes it is easier to see everything organized on a computer.

It (to me) is sometimes easier to jot something down in the notebook and go back to the PC later to enter it. PC breakdown and you can lose the information you have worked so hard to compile.

Just my opinion
Michael Romano

Chi va piano va sano e va lontano

Those who go slowly, go safely and go far

Looking for family history in Piazza Armerina, Aidone, and Musomelli Sicily.
Names researching: Romano, Nigrelli, Ristagno, Piazza Maida Triolo.

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 17 Feb 2010, 15:40

Romano,

Thats a very good point...having paper as a back up to computer. I always get confused if I should add each person as a couple or separately. As an example, do I put my mother and father on the same page and branch from there or put them on their own page?

Alicia

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Romano1970
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Re: Best way to keep track of family tree?

Postby Romano1970 » 17 Feb 2010, 15:55

Glad I could assist. It can get confusing with all the names you will find in your journey.
Michael Romano

Chi va piano va sano e va lontano

Those who go slowly, go safely and go far

Looking for family history in Piazza Armerina, Aidone, and Musomelli Sicily.
Names researching: Romano, Nigrelli, Ristagno, Piazza Maida Triolo.


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