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Find Out About Your Ancestors
Family history research takes many forms. Many people wish to research their own family tree to find their ancestors as far back as they can along one or multiple lines.
Others are researching all the families in a particular geographical region (place study) or those with a particular surname (one name study). Demographic studies can also benefit from this type of software.
RWAP Software provide two
valuable programs to enable you to carry out family history, both
programs are by Chris Boutal (of Deltadrive Ltd):
Genealogy Research System is a much enhanced version of this software, written to run under the Windows operating system and building on both QL Genealogist and the earlier Genealogy for Windows program (also by Deltadrive). The Genealogy Research System proves an invaluable tool in the study of inheritance and genetics in both humans and animal breeding. Any work that involves tracing back through each generation for medical, financial or any other reason will benefit from this software.
The user friendly interface for both of these programs ensure that you do not waste valuable research time in learning how to use a new program in order to enter your data. In fact, you are asked to enter the information in pretty much the form that you find it - for example, birth certificates. The program then tries to match up the information which you have found against the people already in your family tree, asking you to verify whether each person is a match, a possible match or definitely not a match.
Tracing your family tree is a fascinating hobby that can grow throughout your lifetime and into retirement and who knows what pedigree your lineage will turn up! Many other interests complement family tree research and studies of local history, inheritance, gene research, genetics, heraldry, demography and many others may follow. The internet is making research easier and faster to do, although it must be noted that although there are hundreds of sites on the internet dedicated to genealogy, not all of them can be trusted as a source of historical information. Research on the internet must therefore be seen as one of several sources in helping you verify your family history. We have found that one of the best ideas on the net has to be GenesConnected (from the people who brought us FriendsReunited). The GenesConnected site allows you to create your family tree on-line and share it with other people, with the idea being that if someone is already researching part of your family tree, the two research links will be joined.
You will be able to leave a valuable inheritance as a result of your hobby for your own relatives and descendants if you publish your work.
A very useful site to help you track down ancestors is origins.net which provides access to definitive on-line databases of genealogical data, including English and Scottish records from 1538 onwards. They have now introduced their own internet search engine which trawls the internet looking specifically for genealogical data, using hundreds of defined spelling variants, misspellings, abbreviations and diminutives for both Christian names and surnames, which makes this an extremely powerful service for finding historical data about your origins.
Origins.net have also recently enhanced the data available for searches for Irish ancestors, providing data from censuses, ship's passenger lists, church records and even convict records. They have also added access to the definitive version of Griffith's Valuation (both indexes and images), said by many genealogists to be the "census substitute" for mid-19th century Ireland, plus other important Irish genealogy data from Eneclann on cd-rom, including the Index of Irish Wills, the William Smith O'Brien Petition and many other titles. This is a truly unique service, which, when coupled with the internet search engine and powerful name comparison engine (NameX), it would be difficult to find a more complete service for genealogical data for the United Kingdom.
All in all, this is an
excellent service and it is easy to get an idea of the information
available without having to join up - you can merely use the search bar
to see how many entries are available for a given name within a
specified period of years. Coupled with our range of programs for
collating the genealogical information which you retrieve, this should
provide the best all-round service for anyone interested in their
We would also recommend that you search through the National Archives, which provides the ability to search and view over a million Wills spanning the years 1384 to 1858, plus WW1 Campaign Medals, WWII Seaman's Medals and Famous people's Wills, including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Sir Christopher Wren, Napoleon Bonaparte and Sir Francis Drake. All in all, this is an excellent service and provides a lot of interesting information as well as the assistance towards building up details of your family tree.