×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Ancestry.com (292 comments)

Creating and editing the tree might be free, but Ancestry.com's whole appeal lies in the huge range of data they house, much of it gleaned from public records. I'm not against them charging some for the service of having scanned and indexed that data, and for operating the servers to host it, but in my opinion they're overcharging for that service based on our public data by a fair margin.

Some of the data itself is from the public record, but compiling all of it yourself would be prohibitively expensive. It would take many trips to various libraries, churches, courthouses, etc. in lots of far-flung places in different cities, states, and countries. And that's all before you start indexing, searching, copying, or scanning any records.

Then consider they're hosting all those billions of records, have developed decent software for both building family trees and documenting them with their database of sources, and continually improve their software and increase their database holdings. The only reason they can charge so little is the economy of scale based on their huge userbase.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Why are you so obsessed with genealogy ? (292 comments)

i dont get why americans are so obsessed with genealogy, ancestry and so on. maybe it is because it is a country of immigrants, and everyone is trying to have an identity extending to their past ?

For me it's mostly just a hobby. I love history to begin with, and my family history is specifically interesting to me personally. Finding out where my ancestors lived, what their lives would have been like, and why they immigrated to America is fascinating to me.

I've read that genealogy is the second most common hobby in America, after gardening. Of course, that depends on how a hobby is defined. I consider reading my favorite hobby. However, for some people, i.e. Mormons, genealogy has religious significance. That's why Salt Lake City, Utah is the biggest destination for many people doing genealogical research.

where i live, in anatolia (turkey), history goes thousands of years past into 8-9000 BC. actually, it was discovered that, the villagers living near the site of a recently discovered mummy that is dated 6500 BC or so (8500 years ago) had 100% exact dna with the mummy. (western anatolia) basically, those people lived there since that time, seasoning all that has happened around those parts.

I've also read that, which really interests me. Don't you find it fascinating that your (or at least some modern Turks) ancestors possibly spoke Hittite or another Indo-European or even Semitic language? I recently paid for a genealogical DNA test, which will tell me more specifically where my ancestors came from. My paternal ancestors immigrated to America from Germany in the 1880s (then Prussia), but there are several clues which point to them actually being ethnically Lithuanian. The area where they lived has been part of Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Germany in just the last few hundred years.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Why are you so obsessed with genealogy ? (292 comments)

Nearly everyone in America is descended from immigrants at some point...

Actually, every person on the planet is descended from immigrants if you go back far enough.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:only 20 years (292 comments)

The US census data is delayed by ~70 years so very little info on anything in the past 70 years will come up.

Census records are released 72 years later, to be exact. Also, although the US Census isn't available until then, many state listings of much more recent births, marriages, divorces, and deaths are available.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:My experience with ancestry.com (292 comments)

My biggest complaint is the search functionality often returns way too much data.

Too much data is far more preferable than too little. Back in the old days, before many sources were available online, most searching had to be done by hand, paging through entire paper records until you found a possible match. The earliest online sources were often just indexes to paper records. It made it much easier to find the records, but then you still had to travel to a library, courthouse, church, etc. that might be in another state or even country.

Their search/matching algorithm is quite eager.

The reason the algorithm is so promiscuous is that it's probably using Soundex to match names. That's a good thing though, as I've found some of my ancestors names spelled in lots of different ways.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Ancestry.com (292 comments)

Hey OP, if all you found was addresses on Ancestry.com, then you're not making any effort to find information. They do have metric boatloads of data of all sorts for your money, but you do have to have a clue about finding it, and make the effort.

Definitely agree, the anonymous reader didn't try very hard. And records for living people are necessarily scarce because of privacy issues.

That said, I do agree Ancestry.com is a pricey service. Check out MyHeritage.com. You can do a free 250-person tree, or add more with payment. The software is a free download and use, and is pretty thorough. The online piece includes the ability to match to other people's trees and import their data to your tree.

Actually, just creating and editing your family tree on Ancestry is completely free. And there's no limit to the number of people, AFAIK. The paid service is just for accessing their database of sources and connecting with other users who might have overlapping family trees.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:hum... (292 comments)

However the fact that you paid to use Ancestry.com is amazing to me :-) Check out your local library and see if they have a subscription. Also take a look at familysearch.org or even the LDS Family search centers for more resources library.familysearch.org/ (to find your local center).

I pay for ancestry.com because they have a huge database of sources online, and probably the largest number of users out of any other family tree websites. It's much more convenient for me to search and view their literally billions of records from the comfort of my own home than going to my local library or LDS center. If I did that, I'd have to copy their records and scan them myself. Ancestry's already done the legwork for me. Also, since they have so many users, I've connected to several other people doing research along the same family lines, which saved my quite a bit of time.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Data portability (292 comments)

If I was going to be spending a reasonable amount of time inputting data that I want to access for an extended period of time I would want it to be an open source program. That way you can always get the data out of the program again (possibly with some effort) and you are not stuck with regular upgrade fees for the latest version with the bug fix neeed to make it work with the latest OS version.

But that's really a non-starter with ancestry.com, they let you export your family tree as a GEDCOM file any time you want, which is the de facto standard file format for genealogy.

more than 3 years ago
top

Best Open Source Genealogy Software?

nathanm Re:Geneweb (292 comments)

I agree wholeheartedly! Currently, I use ancestry.com for my main family tree, but regularly download a GEDCOM file and import it into GeneWeb (locally hosted) for offline access. I've tried several other programs, both open source and proprietary, but GeneWeb is my favorite by far. It doesn't make the prettiest family tree website, but it's easy to use and its functionality is great.

Even though the primary developer, Daniel de Rauglaudre, isn't developing it further right now, it has more features than I use regularly, and it's highly customizable. I'm somewhat tempted to learn OCaml, just to be able to modify this software.

more than 3 years ago
top

Internet Connectivity Outside of the United States

nathanm Re:Superiority of the Free Market. (504 comments)

I thought it was pretty obvious I was writing figuratively, but I suppose on /. that's not a safe assumption. Also from Wikipedia, Vermont is the 45th largest state in the US, i.e. 44 of the 50 states are larger than Vermont. So comparatively, it will be much easier to wire the state with high-speed internet than most states. It doesn't matter much that Vermont has a low population density, since the distances to cover are tiny compared to most states.

more than 8 years ago

Submissions

nathanm hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

nathanm has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?