More Free Software and Tools

When most of us think of genealogy software, we think of family tree programs. While family tree programs do make up a large portion of the genealogy software available, there are programs that may be helpful in tracing your roots.

Surname Suggestion Tool

It isn't unusual to find a surname change spelling over the years. Perhaps an ancestor switched up the spelling to disassociate with the family or maybe it just got misspelled at one point and never corrected. Whatever the reason behind a change in spelling, it can make searching for ancestors frustrating at times. The surname suggestion tool is one free genealogy resource that can help you get around this frustration.

Just put the surname you are researching in the box and it will give you three different columns of surname variations. The first column is excellent, meaning the odds of one of them being used is fairly high. The middle column gives close matches, which may or may not help you find the results you need. The last column is for long shots. Odds are, you won't find the person you seek using one of these surname variations. However, if you have exhausted the variations in the first two columns, it's worth a shot.

Cleaning GEDCOMs

If you are planning to share your GEDCOM, either with another researcher or by posting it on a personal website, you will most likely need to remove the information for living individuals. The exception is if the individual has given permission for their information to be displayed.

GEDClean will help make this task a little easier. If recognizes individuals marked alive and "cleans" their information. In general, the only items left for the individual are their name, gender and relationships. There is an option to remove the name as well. The 16-bit version of GEDClean is free or you can opt for the 32-bit version for a low price.

GEDCOM to HTML Converters

If you want to publish your family tree to a website, you will need a program capable of converting your GEDCOM to HTML. Some family tree programs have this capability, but not all do.

GedHTree is only available in English. It allows for cleaning of living individuals. It has several options available to customize your website.

ArborVita is set up to work in multiple languages. It gives you the option of generating the HTML as a file or set it up as a Javascript to generate as users browse your site.

Keeping Notes

Bygones Genealogical Note Keeping Program is a nice free genealogy resource. It is designed to be used in conjunction with your family tree software. You can enter notes into the research database, keep track of correspondence, create time lines or scan in photographs or documents helpful to your research.

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