Modern Genealogy

I didn’t do much genealogy pre computers. I grew up in the computer age, and so it was natural when I started doing genealogy to get a computer. My first computer just use EMACS and a simple word processing program to allow me to type in the family tree. When I found someone or new data on someone, I merely added them to the tree where they belonged.

Then in 1991, I bought Roots III. It was the “Cadillac of Genealogy Programs” at the time and I paid a small fortune for it. My first purchase came with a free upgrade to Roots IV. I used Roots IV until Roots V came out and followed the Roots Family of programs all the way to Ultimate Family Tree. When the owners of UFT at the time (God only knows who they were since the product changed hands hourly in those days) decided to discontinue the product, I took Bob Velke up on his offer for a discounted hop to The Master Genealogist 4.0.

I have used TMG since that version and am a huge fan! I don’t know how anyone ever did genealogy pre computers. Lets take my latest task.

I have a roll of film for Rutherford County, TN marriages from 1881-1914. I want to see who all in my database has an existing marriage for that place and time period.

So I did a List of Events with the filter:

Marriage County contains Rutherford AND
Marriage Year >=1881 AND
Marriage Year <= 1914

One of the outputs is to set a flag for each person who has an event that meets this criteria. So I ran my filter and had it set the flag for just the men, because the index is by groom.

Next I filtered the list of people called the Picklist for people with that flag, and finally I copied those people to a focus group. I can work on the list of people in the focus group and remove individuals as they are found. The beauty of the focus group is I can sort it by surname, so it’s in alphabetical order just like the index is. I now have 46 men to look up and get copies of their marriage records. While I am looking at the index, I can also check to see if their siblings got married in the county and I just haven’t found their marriage dates yet.

Yes, computers are wonderful things for the genealogist. I use mine every day to help me research my family tree, and connect with cousins. Now I just have to find the time to find those 46 marriage records… If only computers created time…


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