"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
- 30 May 2003

RootsMagic Genealogy Software

For years, I have used FamilyOrigins genealogy database to organize my family tree information. Recently, the owner and programmer of FamilyOrigins, Bruce Buzbee, has come out with RootsMagic 1.0 a new genealogy software http://www.rootsmagic.com/. After using the new RootsMagic genealogy database software for the last six-months, I can truly state, "It's a WINNER!"

RootsMagic (RM) is all new and different from FamilyOrigins (FO) but you'll have no problem converting your data from FO or Family Tree Maker (FTM). All you have to do is a simple GEDCOM export from your old database and import it into a new RM database and you're off and running.

One of the most important features of the RM software were the simple easy to use screens and the ability to open more than one database at a time. I have had four databases open at one time without any problem and found it very easy to click on a person in one database and drag them to another database and like, magic, they are there without having to re-enter the information. This is a wonderful feature that allows you to move your family members from database to database and minimize errors due to re-keying data.

As many of you know, I always harp on "sourcing" your information (names, dates, places and generation connections) and RM has ridden to the front of the line with a "SourceWizard" that allows you easily create sources for each fact you utilize for books, microfilm, manuscripts, and other documentation. The SourceWizard allows you to enter a source one time and you then re-use it as it applies to different individuals.

There are lots of pre-designed reports that you can print-out to help organize your research or send to family members. More importantly, there is a way to create and design your very own custom reports to meet your personal needs. Also, it has a book feature that takes the information in your database and automatically creates a book with chapters, photographs and an index.

A discussion of the scrapbook and automatic website building features of the software could be a column in and of it self with a full dialogue on the various ways you can add photos, voices, videos, etc. for each person, family or even for each place locations where your family members lived (i.e., cities and counties)

And the advantages of the program do not stop here! There is a feature that allows you to create a "To Do List" for each person or family. What a wonderful way to organize your research when you go to the courthouse or a family reunion where you sometimes "forget" to ask something or look for a document. Of course, I never forget all of my "to dos" well, not any longer since I now heavily use and rely on this feature!

RM is compatible with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP. Buzbee provides excellent customer service and is responsive to suggestions from individuals who are using the RM software. Currently, he has written two new updates for RM 1.0 and they are available free on-line at the above website.

Lastly, don't feel overwhelmed by changing genealogy software. Buzbee also has a book you can purchase that walks you through all of the features, many of which are not covered here. And believe me, there are almost a hundred features to detailed to go into in this column. You can find a detail list of all features, functions and reports on the RM website.

The best recommendation I can make is to download a free sample program from the above website and try it out. It is economical cost genealogy software that is $34.95 (or $44.95 with book). Most genealogy software packages start at over $50 and are much more difficult to operate.

To order off-line, call toll-free: 1-866-467-6687.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 10 June 2003 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604