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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
29 July 2004

GenSmarts: A New Genealogy Software Tool

Okay, I'll admit, I've been playing and having the best time! Well, maybe not "playing" but still having a great time! What has me so excited?

There's a new genealogy software add-on tool, GenSmarts that is now available that thinks for itself and you too! It is cheap, only $24.95 but worth each and every penny!

What do I mean? GenSmarts is an artificial intelligence computer software program that analyzes your existing genealogy database and produces research suggestions for you in the blink of an eye!

It's like a giant brainstormer and you don't do anything but a few clicks of the mouse and you have an amazing list of hints, suggestions, to do recommendations, gee, I'm just exhausted reading the list but WOW what a list of things and places that I'd never though about or combinations and patterns GenSmarts found in my database.

It directly integrates with RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, PAF, Legacy Family Tree, The Master Genealogist, and supports the GEDCOM file format used by other genealogy programs.

GenSmarts generates and tracks your to do list, prints worksheets to record your search results, and helps you to plan to research trips to the library, courthouse, etc.

It will also cross-link with research suggestions for research at several of the popular genealogy research websites. You pick an specific ancestor and it takes that name and allows you to perform much easier on-line records look-ups as it looks at all the sites at once versus having to go to each and every website and perform a separate search.

GenSmarts works against a database of known records, such as censuses, vital records, land and property records and military records. It analyses the people, events, dates and places you have entered into your family tree database and it applies a set of rules about when a specific person is likely to exist in one of these record sets. It then produces research suggestions for this ancestor and cross-checks on-line databases and can take you directly to that website for an immediate search.

This software applies logic to highlight and prioritize which research suggestions are most likely to fill-in gaps in your research. Some of which you or I might never think of or see, like the tree in the forest.

To quote another GenSmarts user, and this is also my sentiment, "Even though I am an experienced genealogist and have used computers in genealogy for over a decade, GenSmarts is there to constantly remind me of records I haven't yet searched . . . The larger your database, the more you need GenSmarts."

GenSmarts was written by R. Aaron Underwood and his company, Underwood Innovations, LLC, of Long Grove, IL. The software runs with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP.

This is one of those "must have" organizers for genealogist who use computer databases. But don't just take my word for it, there is a free trial version you can download and play with before you purchase the full package.

For more information or to buy GenSmarts, you can go on-line at: http://www.gensmarts.com or call 847/910-3761 or by mail: Underwood Innovations, 4436 Hearthmoor Court, Long Grove, IL 60047 or e-mail: < support@GenSmarts.com >.

One important note, GenSmarts will soon have a "research center" version of the software and will make free copies available for use at any public or historical society library. This version of the software will allow the staff or volunteers at these facilities to help researchers.


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 29 Sept 2004 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604