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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New FamilySearch Affiliate Ancestral Quest

Incline Software, LC, dating from 1994, is one of the oldest genealogical software companies still publishing under the same name. It currently produces two premier tools, Ancestral Quest, one of the first Windows genealogy programs available, and PAFWiz, an add-on utility for Personal Ancestral File 5 (PAF), which is one of the family tree programs derived from earlier versions of Ancestral Quest. This direct relationship between Ancestral Quest and Personal Ancestral File, Version 5 makes for an easy transition from PAF to a much newer and more useful program. To quote from their company history:

Over the years, Incline Software has aligned itself with various other companies in an effort to market Ancestral Quest. From fall of 1995 through fall of 1997, Ancestral Quest was also sold by Infobases, Inc. (and later by an affiliate of Infobases, Ancestry, Inc.) From the fall of 1998 to the fall of 2000, Incline Software partnered itself with The Hope Foundation.In 1999, with some strategic help from The Hope Foundation, Incline Software helped The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints develop its Windows version of Personal Ancestral File® (PAF). Ancestral Quest, (including programs derived from Ancestral Quest), has become the most widely used genealogy software program in the world.

Importantly, Ancestral Quest Version 12.1 is the first complete data base program to synchronize data with the Family Tree of New FamilySearch. As such, Ancestral Quest is certified by the FamilySearch to access and update the Family Tree database of new.FamilySearch.org. To further quote their Web site, "it is also a FamilySearch certified PAF add-in, which means that a user of PAF 5 can use AQ 12.1 to synchronize his/her local PAF database with the Family Tree of new FamilySearch. So whether you use AQ by itself, or want to use PAF with AQ as an add-in, you will be able to synchronize your data with new FamilySearch." What is more important, the working released version of the program is available right now in December, 2008.

Like many genealogy programs, Incline Software's Ancestral Quest has a free trial offer. The free download is fully functional for 60 days and then will revert into a "Viewer" mode until you purchase a registration key.

One interesting feature of Ancestral Quest is that the program automatically looks up information available in Ancestry.com and shows you the number of related records available. Of course, if you don't have a subscription to Ancestry.com, this feature is some what useless. What is probably most important about the program is that it has the "look and feel" of Personal Ancestral File and if you are moving into a new program and have little experience with other lineage linked data base programs, Ancestral Quest can provide one of the least painful transitions to much more useful program.

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