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What Do You Wish Genealogy Software Did?

Tuesday, 8 Jan 2008 | by Mark Tucker

Software can be a great help to genealogists, but at times we wish that it did more. Think of the desktop software and tools you use, online databases, and the newer social networking sites. As genealogists we want more of our genealogy software.

Are there features you would like added to the software that you use? What if a brand new genealogy application were designed from scratch, what would you want it to do? What is on your wish list for genealogy software?

Here is a chance to share your ideas.

By way of a challenge, I would like to see at least 50 responses. The more ideas, the better. So don’t be shy. Add your wish list item.

34 Comments »

  1. I’ll start off with –

    1) Do everything FamilyTreeMaker 16 does and lots more.

    2) Create an ahnentafel report (ancestors names, dates, places) – FTM doesn’t do this.

    3) Create Time Lines with important events for user selected people in the database.

    4) Create WP-editable pages with field codes embedded for a name index and TOC.

    I know that other software does all of those things – the problem is that none of them do everything, and that’s what I want!

    I’m not impressed yet by the graphic presentations, the information format or the genealogy reports provided on the social network or online software sites – including Ancestry’s member trees. I’m not impressed by AncestryPress yet.

    I’m sure there will be plenty of better suggestions – these are pretty mundane, aren’t they?

    I’ll post about your request tomorrow on Genea-Musings – maybe you’ll get some good ideas from other bloggers and readers.

    Cheers — Randy

    Comment by Randy Seaver — 8 Jan 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  2. I’m not sure if there is a software out there that does this, but I haven’t been able to find one. I would like the software to have a lot more options for numbering individuals. Something more along the lines of the numbering systems used in the peer reviewed journals. I know this would be difficult, but it would be ideal for those of us doing lineage projects, etc.

    Thanks,
    Christy

    Comment by Christy Fillerup — 9 Jan 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  3. I also use FTM 16 and my pet peeves usually involve “flexibility”:

    1. I agree with Randy that more options of exporting to .txt, .rtf, .doc or .docx formats instead of pdf.

    2. Understand that family historians, not just genealogists, use these types of software. In that vein, offer some flexibility as to relationships outside the “marriage” relationship.

    FTM currently allows use of the term Partner in place of the male or female. However, instead of allowing flexibility in designating what united two people (commitment ceremony, domestic partnership, etc.), they simply use the term “met.”

    My partner and I (two males BTW) “met” in May 2000 but we did not have a formal uniting in the form of a domestic partnership until May 2005.

    I have already heard the arguments that genealogy is meant to trace bloodlines and not “aberrant” relationships (I take personal offense to the terminology). I would be interested in a dicussion that lets us put aside arguments for or against LGBT relationships and focus on just offering better flexibility in how to designate certain relationships.

    Comment by Thomas MacEntee — 9 Jan 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  4. I saw this post linked from Randy’s blog (thanks Randy!).

    I use RootsMagic, and I’m very happy with it, but I think my wishlist would be the same regardless of which software I use:

    1) Able to organize and add multiple notes for each person and event. Some notes are just research notes and shouldn’t be included when publishing.

    2) Able to embed source citations in the middle of a note. I’m having to jury rig a combination of “GRAMPS” (a nice genealogy program for Linux) report generating capabilities with BibTEX references embedded in the notes to generate proper documents with indexes. It’s painful having to maintain sources in both RootsMagic and BibTEX so I would love better.

    3) I’d love the app to be online so I can access it anywhere with extra points if it integrated nicely with something like Zotero.com, but I would only do this if there were strong guarantees to the security and privacy of my data.

    Comment by Van Gale — 9 Jan 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  5. I have been using genealogy programs for around 20 or so years, starting with DOS PAF. There is one option that RootsMagic has that Legacy and others programs should have. In RootsMagic, you can have more than one database up at a time and the ability to drag & drop between them. It is an awesome option when working with more than one database. RootsMagic, as much as I love it, has its shortcomings with options in general, or the lack thereof. Carl Rhodes

    Comment by Carl Rhodes — 9 Jan 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  6. I use FTM 16 and it’s OK, however I would like more options on how to number generations in a genealogy report. I want more options on what to include in an outline report and I would like to be able to highlight my direct line in my reports so relatives can follow through the report even though they are not familiar with the ancestors.

    I also would like more options for listing sources. I would like the whole program to be more flexible when producing reports.

    Comment by Joy — 9 Jan 2008 @ 3:52 pm

  7. Here are a few ideas that were originally published in The Future, Revisited in Everton’s Genealogical Helper November/December 2006, page 55.

    MAPS: Finding out what the people were doing and why they were doing it gives you a much better feel for the person. The futuristic terminal offered some tools to learn about their activities. Clicking on Migration for a person and up comes a map of the eastern US with a red dot in PA. At the bottom it showed the year and had VCR type buttons for Play, Pause, Back, FastForward. After pressing the Play button:
     The year started to increase and other solid red dots began appearing and moving westward leaving a dashed line trail
     Some dots turned black presumably indicating that they had died
     At the bottom were counts for living descendants and spouses
     The state and county boundaries also changed with the time

    Census Documentation & Creating Families
     What is missing is anything that links the entry (for a family in an online Census) to an exact individual or family. One still needs to add a “lived at” entry for each individual of a family in their family tree program and create links to downloaded images.
     It should also automatically add new family members to the tree.

    A Timeline with all events and links to supporting document images.

    Comment by Jeff Bockman — 9 Jan 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  8. Years ago I had a wonderful DOS program called Family Tree Journal, it was a great program that would do booklets or a complete book on any of your ancestors. It allowed you to put pictures where you wanted and to size them any way you wanted, so a close up could be small and a group picture large so you could see everyone in the picture. It had a timeline, and other reports that could be printed with the book. It printed a table of contents and an index. It had two fatal flaws as your file got larger it got slowed to a crawl, and it was a DOS program. I was told TMG could do this, but it required you to export to a word processor and then insert the pictures. I have not looked at new programs for a while so maybe there is one that does this already.

    Charles Hansen

    Comment by Charles Hansen — 9 Jan 2008 @ 11:08 pm

  9. FTM 16 will produce a Genealogy report in ahnentafel format. Also, FTM 16 will produce a Timeline with historical events included. I do wish for the ability to privatize portions of the notes to insure that some personal information and/or research notations were not included in creating reports.

    Comment by Judy Burns — 10 Jan 2008 @ 5:56 am

  10. I have used Legacy v6 for a while and I have very high hopes that v7 (to come out hopefully in the next month or so) will have all the new additions I really want. These include great charting capabilities, but even more importantly, better sourcing which will allow us all to adhere more to Elizabeth S. Mills’ _Evidence Explained_.

    The one issue that Legacy’s v7 may not address is that the current database structure causes each source detail to be duplicated in the behind-the-scenes Access database as it is attached to a different person, fact, or event. Each time a “detail” is created and then associated with a master source, that detail is stored separately as it is attached.

    For those of us with medium to large databases and who tend to attach the same source and detail to an event for several different people (i.e. everyone in the family having the same census event and having the same source detail attached to it for each family member), this change would be of great help. Not only would it decrease the size of the file, but it would also be easier to correct an error or typo in the detail just once rather than on mutiple copies.

    I have started mutiple discussions on this topic on the Legacy Users Group that can be perused for more detail. I am not sure whether v7 will provide this or not, but I do know that with a major source overhaul, complete with templates, I am very much looking forward to the new version!

    Gail Rich Nestor
    Smyrna, GA
    http://www.roots2buds.net

    Comment by Gail Rich Nestor — 10 Jan 2008 @ 8:22 am

  11. I want software to date stamp entries. I want to know that when I looked for Coleman Smith in 2005 it was before I added census information in 12/07 that showed his name is Timothy C Smith.

    Comment by Tricia — 10 Jan 2008 @ 3:59 pm

  12. This may be a little far outside the box, but I’d like to see a bird’s eye view of my entire tree. Not just a direct descendant report, but all generations branching in all directions. Perhaps utilizing 3-D rendering technology .. even better, integrate the family tree into google earth with and use timeline/location information to follow your ancestors from place to place.

    Comment by Laine — 10 Jan 2008 @ 7:43 pm

  13. I wish that genealogy database software would EXPORT PHOTOS (and other multi-media files) in addition to all the genealogy data when creating a GEDCOM file. That way the scanned images of proof documents will go with the data.

    To my knowledge, current GEDCOM files maintain a link for each item to a specific place on a c: drive, which won’t be the same for the person who decides to import the GEDCOM file and photos. The consequence is that there will be a lot of “file not found” notices in an ancestor’s multi-media file area.

    I also wish that the IMPORT of a GEDCOM file would include placing the photos in a special folder, so that all the links will show up for each ancestor’s photos & important source documents.

    Comment by DearMYRTLE — 10 Jan 2008 @ 10:42 pm

  14. I wasn’t clear enough in my comment about Ahnentafel “reports.” Judy is correct – FTM will create an Ahnentafel “report” – names, dates, places, children, facts, notes, etc. for as many generations as you want. I create these all the time, and they are very useful. A 12 generation ahnentafel report with children listed and notes/facts/sources is 1000 pages or more for my paternal family line in my database.

    What I meant was an Ahnentafel “List” – just the names, dates and places – no children, no notes, etc. Just a list of ancestors from number 1 back in however many generations I select. To do this now, I create an Ahnentafel report, export it to RTF, then edit out the notes, children, etc to get down to the names, dates and places. For 12 generations (my typical list), it takes a long time and reaches 50 pages or more.

    PAF used to do this easily, and FTM (and any software) could do it easily – it just takes a little programming and FTM haven’t done it for 10 years despite several requests from me and others. I don’t know if TMG, RM or LFT do it – I hope so.

    This is not a “sexy” report – it’s all words, dense with details. But for me, it is the most useful and compact report I generate – I carry a 50 page Ahnentafel list rather than 50 pedigree charts or 1000 family group sheets because the names, dates, places are easier to track – for me, at least.

    Sorry for the confusion — Randy

    Comment by Randy Seaver — 11 Jan 2008 @ 9:19 am

  15. I’ve tried most of the shareware programs that were out there, and each has it’s own unique features. But overall they all have the same basic design of entering data into a forms-based family sheet, and then require that you generate reports starting with the basic Ahnentafel and Descendant reports.

    The original program I decided on over ten years ago was Philip Brown’s “Family History System” – partly because of its unique “relative report”. It was the closest thing I had seen to the concept of an Everything Report that I wanted. But, FHS’s method of data input was not the easiest to use, and I ultimately purchased Reunion for Windows as my base program. Reunion later sold off its Windows version to Sierra who turned it into Generations. That was bought by Genealogy.com who eventually dropped it and the other two programs they purchased: Family Origins and Ultimate Family Tree leaving the market open for their flagship program: FTM.

    Generations eventually became unusable for me, because it was buggy once Windows XP came along and there were no more updates coming.

    But Generations and all the other programs were all input-based programs. What I want is an output-based design. After all, isn’t it your data and the presentation and use of it that’s most important? What’s wrong with software that develops the report first, and then allows direct input onto the report, rather than the cumbersome forms-based data entry inherent in all of today’s programs.

    Isn’t that what WYSIWYG is all about? Imagine using a word-processor where you have to go to a separate form-based system to enter you sentences one by one and then generate the report to see the actual document. It wouldn’t work. But that’s what today’s programs do.

    It’s time for something better.

    Comment by Louis Kessler — 11 Jan 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  16. I have to agree with Tricia. It would be a tremendous help to have a date stamp option. While a “Date Found” field can be added to a new source citation, sometimes, we find something new in that source at a later date. There are so many reasons why I’d like to know when I entered information. Great forum Mark! Lisa, Genealogy Gems Podcast

    Comment by Lisa Louise Cooke — 12 Jan 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  17. I want a button or maybe two on the information page, that I can check in FTM that says the person did not Marry…or the couple had no children. I am tired of continuing to look for spouses when there is not one, or children when they don’t exist. And I don’t always remember to note this elsewhere when translating from a book or oral source. Or if I did note it, the note does not show up on the family group page.
    I would also like my program to alert me if I have been entering the dates of 1860 and suddenly I enter 860 or 1960. Sure would save me a lot of HEAD SHAKING of WHERE in the world did that birth date come from.
    I also want a source input screen that lets me enter if this is a book, etc. when I first enter the source not on a separate screen that I have to find later when I may not have the source in front of me. Also I want the source screen to pop up after I have hit enter so I don’t forget to enter a source each time. this only has to be automatic for certain fields but it would be very helpful to me, I am lazy

    Comment by Felicia Hodges — 13 Jan 2008 @ 5:28 pm

  18. Many of these items can be done in Legacy. After using various versions of FTM for years, I switched from FTM v 16 to Legacy a few months ago so it’s possible Legacy does even more of them than I know.

    Some of the items mentioned that I know Legacy allows:
    1. Create WP editable pages w/field codes embedded for a name index & TOC.
    2. Creat Ahnentafel with just names, dates & places for just the ancestors, no children, notes, etc. (Report options are very flexible and you can get as much or as little as you want on a report.)
    3. 2 data bases can be open and you can drag/drop between them.
    4. Has 3 separate sets of notes – General, Research & Medical. Also has capability to enter text in double brackets [[ ]] to indicate that text is private. Reports & gedcom export both have options to either exclude or include private notes and include or exclude general, research and/or medical notes.
    5. Descendant reports have the # for direct line ancestors of the primary person (who can be changed as needed) in bold and underlined to make it easy to follow a particular line.
    6. Legacy reports are very flexible. You have many options on what to include or exclude in each report. Legacy also has great custom reporting using a search feature with up to 3 critera for a search and then a report creation from that list using whatever fields you need. I used to spend a lot of time saying “I wish FTM would create a report of just . . . .”
    7. You can indicate a person did not marry and had no children or that a couple had no children. This info appears in reports and on their screen. “Never married and had no children” appears in the field where a marriage date would be entered. “Had no children” appears in the spot where the 1st child would be listed.

    There are probably some things I would like that Legacy doesn’t do – but so far I haven’t found any.

    Comment by Linda — 15 Jan 2008 @ 9:34 am

  19. I like the date stamp idea. I have used FTM for a lot of years, but find Family Historian and Legacy are speaking to my needs better right now. I like FH’s ability to put several possibly connected groups on the same chart so I can see them in their horizontal position rather than only see things linked. I would like to be able to work collaterally with charts so I can see all the people who live in a given tenement or on a particular farm.

    I would love to be able to have hyperlinks within the charts and within the notes, so that if I reference a guy in the notes of someone else, I can create an active link that will take me directly to him. I’d like colors and fonts so I can use them to reflect different types of data or possible optional choices for information. It comes down to flexibility, I guess. I want more of it.

    I’d like the option to sort by place (specific place, like a particular farm in a particular parish in England, say, or a defined township in a county in Ohio, so I can grab all the people from this township even if they don’t ‘look’ related.

    Thanks for the opportunity to think about what would really make a program worth switching for!

    Comment by Barbara Schenck — 19 Jan 2008 @ 10:46 pm

  20. This is in response to Randy’s wish list for a Ahnentafel report showing ancestors only.
    Have you tried doing a custom report in FTM to get what you want?

    Tap on custom report, choose individuals to include. Pick yourself then hit ancestors. For “items to include,” choose dates of birth, death, locations for both. I think that will give you what you want although you cannot limit the number of generations.

    I hope that helps.

    Comment by Judy Burns — 20 Jan 2008 @ 11:27 am

  21. I want a software package that will allow me to:
    1. Catalog all 5,000+ pieces of paper filled with notes, photocopies, pictures, etc. I’ve scanned in.
    2. Allow me to assign keywords (surnames, places, etc) to each scanned document.
    3. Using a web-based search engine, search these keywords, and generate web pages that list the results (or show the results)
    4. Allow for updates, corrections, etc. to be sent to the web site (or email addresses) for review by family members to review.
    5. Allow me to export data in gedcom, pdf, html and xml formats.
    6. Allow it to be put onto a CDROM/DVD-ROM to be sent to others if desired, with same localized functionality.
    7. Easily allow more documents, etc to be added, and keywords entered for new scanned documents, or to update prior documents that were scanned.

    Comment by Justin — 20 Jan 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  22. I want a program that will sync both ways with my family trees on ancestry.com. I love their online hint system and comparison to other trees. I also love attaching documents since the source is added automatically. I just wish it was easier to go back and forth with a desktop program (not exporting and importing gedcoms which loses links, photos, etc)

    It would also be nice to get a county report. When I find a new county source or search a county website I would like a list of everyone in my database from Lincoln County. The same would be great for a cemetery. If I visit a cemetery (or county) I want a list of everyone buried in Oakdal cemetery or Lincoln county. It would be nice even if the entries did not look the same (“Podunk, Lincoln, Illinois, USA” gets collected with “Lincoln County, IL”)

    Migration maps would also be great tied in with google earth or Live maps.

    Comment by Dave — 24 Jan 2008 @ 7:56 am

  23. My requests are simple:

    I use TMG and I love it. But it would be great if it:

    1) Drove carpool: I could spend that 90 minutes a day transcribing documents,
    2) Cooked: I could eat gourmet meals while surfing ancestry for just one more census record.
    3) Did laundry: With all that free time, I could scan all the documents I currently have into my computer.

    I already use it to catalog all the documents in my filing cabinet. I can set up a custom source type, so I can already comply with Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Evidence Explained”, I can easily create an ahnentafel report (with sources, and exhibits). With the new version, I can not only track my ancestor and his sources, and name variations, but I get a window showing me everyone he associated with too. I have an extensive research log, so when those microfilm I just ordered come in, I will know who to look up on those films and will be able to track my research as it progresses. Which helps when I keep having to stop and do laundry. LOL
    Great grandpa go by different names every day, I can track all of them and use them in reports if I desire. I can also source where each name came from and even attach a note to myself about the name. This memo can print or not, it’s up to me.
    I can have as many events for a person (that print or don’t) as I want to create, and I get to name them. Not only will I see the names for those events in the Person View, but I can also see the role I assigned that person, so I know that grandpa had a WILL event, and I know in that event he was the Administrator without having to open the WILL tag and see. I can hover over the WILL event, and see the transcription I typed in without having to open the tag. Every event can have a source, an exhibit (or group of exhibits) in multiple file formats, text that prints or doesn’t print, date, place and multiple witnesses. Each witness can have text that is particular to that witness, so if I want the WILL transcription to print with the testator, and only the information about the portion of the estate each heir received to print with the heirs, I have the ability to do that.

    Seriously, TMG does most of the things I want it to do now. I do have a wish list for it. But most of the requests I have seen so far, TMG and it’s companion product Second Site can do already. I know some people think it’s hard to learn, but frankly, I found it fairly easy to learn the basics. As my needs grew, I learned more about the options and it grew with me. As I read some of your requests for things I consider so basic to a genealogy program, and have been using in TMG for years, I can’t help but wonder if the learning curve might be smaller in TMG than the yearning curve is in FTM.

    Comment by Teresa — 25 Jan 2008 @ 7:27 am

  24. I would like the flexibility of creating a report with exactly what fields I want. Access to the database itself would make it a winner for me. I currently use Legacy and have to modify the stock reports I create. I’ve tried many other applications and Legacy seems to have all I want except reporting freedom.

    Comment by TeresaJ — 25 Jan 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  25. I’ve been a life-long FTM user (on v.16 now) but would switch in a minute if I found a more comprehensive product. I like RootMagic’s concept of a read-only database and viewer for sharing, but one thing I find extremely important is reporting: both writing your own queries and crafting your own custom reports. I want to be able to write my own SQL queries against my database (eg. select * from PeopleTable where LastName=”Smith” and DeathDate<1/1/1900). FTM has a rudimentary way to do some of this, but it’s very simplistic and doesn’t meet all my needs. I’d also like to craft my own report templates with header, footer, body, subtotal, and grandtotal sections–like Crystal Reports and other report authoring engines allow you to do.

    I like how everyone’s getting into maps and timelines; one thing I’d like to see here is the ability to apply a begin AND end date to events that go on a map. Thus, you could enter the fact that John Smith lived in Cincinnati from May 1890 to June 1895 before moving to St. Louis from June 1895 to the end of his life. A static map could plot these two points, but how about the ability to play out the map over time and see family migration patterns as the years advance? Just something I’ve been thinking about.

    Anyway, great question. I wish there was more consumer debate on the pros and cons of genealogy software and the features we would like to have.

    Comment by Brad — 26 Jan 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  26. Currently using FTM 2005. Experimenting with Master Genealogist. In addition to all the previously submitted “wishes”, I’d like to be able to look at one screen and see all members of a household regardless of whether they are members of the family unit. Certain boarders found living with one of my families are most likely related to the family in some way. Besides same surname as others in the family line, they show up in more than one census boarding with the same family unit. Until I prove the familial relationship, I’d like to look at one screen that shows the entire household, i.e., parents, children, and others living with family.

    Comment by Toni — 26 Jan 2008 @ 9:27 pm

  27. Toni,
    Have you tried the new associates window in TMG? If you link everyone to that census event, then you can see them on the associates window all in one place. That is what it was designed for.

    Comment by Teresa — 27 Jan 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  28. It’s been some time since I’ve seen anything innovative come out in the genealogical software packages… seems more effort goes into marketing cruises.

    Any serious genealogical analysis tool has to consider the broader relationships between people, not just immediate family relationships. These would be sponsors in baptisms, witnesses to wills, other folks immigrating with a person, etc. TMG supports these, but it is very tedious (lots of button pushing and menu selection) to enter all the data. FTM and Legacy don’t even tie all the event participants together (separate entries of the event for each person, for the most part). I’d like to see a system that is truely source driven. You would first enter the source information, and then enter specific content information (say all the data for a family in a census) into a single form designed for that type of document/event. Then the software would be smart enough to take all the data and enter it in the conventional form in the database by individual/family/events, making all the necessary linkages. It should even be smart enough to accurately identify the potential overlap of this new data with existing data (i.e., perhaps the family is already in the database from a different source). When I say “smart enough” here, I mean much more accurate than existing software attempts to identify duplicate people in a database.

    Essentially, genealogy software should be nudging users to follow good research practices, and not just provide easier ways to download and lump together all sorts of information from unknown sources. The Genealogical Data Model effort moves in this direction, but without the necessary intelligence built into the process to streamline and assist with entry and organization of the data, it would be way too tedious for most people to tolerate. The complexity of the system has to be hidden from the user… who should only have to follow a straight forward and simple process.

    I’d also like to see better use of graphical interfaces in analyzing and manipulating data. The sample program you described in your blog last year is a good start.

    Although it’s mostly eyewash, I think the software should keep up with modern user interfaces for consistency and look/feel. Just looking at the appearance of the latest TMG version shows its age. On the other hand, having to support long-time users who probably can’t afford to upgrade their hardware tends to limit how innovative the software vendors can be. It would take bold steps of introducing a new product line, and cutting off further development of older packages.

    Comment by Rich — 27 Jan 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  29. I work in collaboration with my father, aunt and several others so need a centralized system. I’m moderately happy with PhpGedView hosted on my own server as it seems to have the basics covered and some nice extras as well. However, it would be nice to have the speed of a desktop app on my Mac that syncs with an online website. (I suppose Ancestry.com could be that online site, although it is nice to be able to share with anyone without them having to have Ancestry membership)

    I’ve also added an installation of DocuWiki to capture information that is more narrative (see http://www.roblog.com/familytree/wiki/frank-v-cowlishaw) and descriptive information about significant villages or areas that span many individuals.

    It would be great to have a system that has a “traditional” structured database-style system, but that also has a wiki for stories and narratives. The two should cross-link so individuals and families mentioned in the wiki link (automatically or, more realistically, manually) to their database entries, while database entries show wiki pages that mention the individual, family or location.

    Comment by Rob Roy — 25 Feb 2008 @ 4:38 am

  30. I use RootsMagic and have since Family Origin days. I have FTM also, but like RM more.
    Wish list
    1) annotation has been improved, but the source wizard is far from complete
    2) I wish i could label an unproven connection to my line that stands out–say with dotted rather than lines on the pedigree charts or color differentiated
    3) miliary records need more fields such as service branch, dates, lifer vs. draft for specific war–highest rank reached medals awarded job in service
    4)I know I can add this field, and have, but I’d like a field for relation to the root person so I am not sittin’ around counting GREATS
    5) when adding several bits of information from the same source, a key combo that attaches the previous source record
    6) ability to list “to be checked” sources as well as annotative sources
    7) ability to list sources, sorted by repository
    8 ) automatic addition of events such as death–for example, automatically add 100 years to birth date and have death date listed as ‘before’ so it is clear who has passed
    9) improved census annotation; for instance, if you add a census record, the fields of those records are presented so you can enter from the record & these records could be concateneated
    10) way to annotate missing or lost census records, so that a glance at an individual’s record shows census records located, missing, or nonexistent, or unresearched
    11) family census records should carry over to the children, now they don’t, so they have to re-entered
    12) keyboard shortcut for unknown for event dates or event places so fields aren’t empty and are standardized in look
    13) field for ‘earliest’ ancestor name & field for Immigrant (the one who came to the US)
    14) improved timelines and maps
    15) fields for general info–such as the meaning of a surname, relgious beliefs, local history

    Comment by desta elliott — 28 Feb 2008 @ 10:23 am

  31. Ability to scan BMD records and other pertinent documents for each relative

    Comment by Michel Heyman — 6 Mar 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  32. I am using an older version of FTM, so some of these may already have been made,.
    1. List women by all married and maiden names at the same time in the list of individuals. When a woman is married more than once, she may not appear in either index even though she is in my file.

    2. Reports should have an option of being updated. When I am writing a family book, and have customized my reports the way I want them, I would like for them to be able to be updated without changing all my settings. I am thinking about after I die, I would like my family members to be able to easily update the book without having to know what all the settings were. This is particularly important, say for the birthday and anniversary calendar, so any new descendants of particular individuals would show up.

    3. I would love a second notes field. One for the research notes, where I abstract all records, research questions, etc., type confidential things that shouldn’t be published, and a separate one where I can write a biography, and things I want to print in the book.

    4. I want the ability to add photos to genealogy reports, not just descendant / ancestor charts.

    5. I would love to put the entire report in a word processing format, so that I can add photos and delete confidential things, and just pretty up the report overall. And then be able to update with new info, and convert it back to adobe.

    6. I would like research log to be able to tie directly to individuals. That way, I can easily see what else I need to find about a particular individual, or family, or location.

    7. I would like a genealogical dictionary, one that lists all individuals and their biography, in alphabetical order.

    8. I have to ditto what someone else said, if someone died without marrying or having children, I would like a way to notate that.

    9. Also dittoing what someone else said, “met” is not a good word for non-marriage relationships. There are many single parents out there.

    10. Also right now when you add a separate page with family story, historical background, etc., in a book, it has to go at the end of a report. I would love to add the story in the report, to break it up, and add more interest.

    11. Right now, the slideshow only works on an individual basis. I would like to do this on a family, or every individual basis, and add music, etc,

    Comment by Shelina — 11 Mar 2008 @ 8:14 am

  33. I use an application for Mac that I’m very happy with — Heredis X.2. It’s the English version of a French program that does much of what commenters are requesting. I came to this blog because I’m frustrated at not being able to link all members of a household. I don’t get to link with my stepdad, nor can I link laborers or enslaved Africans to a household.

    Comment by Susan — 21 Mar 2008 @ 1:39 am

  34. 3 May 2010
    It’s about time! – Genedocs now has compatability to include on improved pedigree charts images of actual source certificates of B,M,D as well as portraits of ancestors and siblings as child and adult, customizable comments, and a variety of source preferences.

    Not to mention the improved family group sheet that keeps up to 24 kids on the same sheet with their parents and displays a photo of each as child and adult across two sheets to cover both orientation and procreation family groups! It took a couple years…now just to see if it is too late to start the business for those interested in the true next generation of family tree charting, organizational forms and legacy preservation…

    check out the Emergency wallet card – everyone and their kids should have it on their person these days!

    Comment by Eric Jelle — 3 May 2010 @ 3:51 pm

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