Obtain Free Genealogy Software

Free Genealogy Lesson 1

When you’re just starting your genealogy, especially if you’ve just been admiring someone else’s twenty-volume set, it can seem overwhelming. Keep in mind that those twenty volumes took years, and possibly even generations , to compile. You don’t need twenty volumes today. What you need today is one name—yours. From that simple starting place, you can build a genealogy worth showing off to another newcomer.

The first thing you need are tools. FamilySearch.org is the official genealogy website for the church, and it has the tools you need at no cost, which is my favorite price.

Go to FamilySearch.org and register with the site. This is free and I’ve never received one single email from them, even having been there since the site began, so you’re spam-safe. The registration link is in the top right-hand corner. If you’re LDS, give them your church membership number when asked. It gives you extra privileges. It’s on your temple recommend or you can get it from the ward clerk. Remember, it’s church-owned, so it’s safe to do this.

Return to the homepage. In the bottom right of the homepage, under the historical picture, you’ll see a headline that says: Free PAF Family History Software. Click the link and download the software into your computer. This is completely free. There is an add-on you can buy, but if you’re just getting started, wait awhile before doing so. After you’ve been using the software for a time, you’ll know if it’s something you really need. This free program has most of the features of very expensive software, and you can export your files into GEDCOMS, which is the format most genealogy programs use. This is important for sharing information with other people. When you download, choose if you need the LDS information areas. If you’re not LDS, you don’t need them. They allow Mormons to enter in church-related information.

Spend some time looking around and in the next lesson, we’ll learn how to use PAF.

What do you want to do next?

Go to Free Genealogy Lesson 2.

Return to the genealogy lesson index.

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