Digitizing Your Research

While conducting an informal survey of the Facebook Kilby Genealogy Group, I have discovered that some of the researchers have their work recorded the old fashion way; with pen and paper. Don’t get me wrong, everyone should have hard copies of everything they have compiled.

There are some drawbacks to just paper records, such as:

  • No one knows what you have discovered, nor can thy learn without combing through your records.
  • Things change in many cases. You may have recorded wrong conclusions or found additional information.
  • Drawing or filling out graphic representations of descendants is a great way to show off your research, but what do you do when you’ve completed that chart and discover there was another child in some family, or that you overlooked a family all together?

Digitizing you data by using genealogy software can make life so much easier, such as:

  • Updating your information or adding that missed person will automatically fix every chart that you might want to have, and then they can be reproduced with a couple of clicks.
  • It would be searchable. This is especially helpful when you are dealing with a large family history. Try and remember every single name in your data?
  • You can search your data for things like all the people born in a particular place or who was born this day.
  • You can export your data to share with other researchers or import other researchers’ data.

I could go on and on with the benefits of digitizing, but I think you get the point.

At least one of our members doesn’t own a computer and gains access to the internet through their local library. I did some looking around and came up with this article that tells you of a program that you can run on a memory stick. ScionPC. The great part about this program is that “ScionPC will run happily from a USB flash-drive as a “portable” application, and will leave no traces behind on any host computer. Take ScionPC and your database with you wherever you go.”

There are also some pretty darn good programs that you can use for free according to reviews I’ve read, such as:

Please note that I do not endorse or have any relationship with the above software. Try them out. If one program doesn’t seem to be what you want, uninstall it and try another. Hey, they’re free.

I have purposely omitted several programs that claim to be free, but are really teasers to get you to by their Deluxe edition or that build the database on their server, thereby requiring you to be connected to the internet to access or use it.