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Monday, December 22, 2008

New FamilySearch Affiliate RootsMagic

New FamilySearch has recently made public an affiliate program allowing third-party software developers to write programs that work in conjunction with New FamilySearch. There has been some measure of uncertainty as to whether or not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon or LDS) was going to continue to support its free software program Personal Ancestral File (PAF). The PAF program has not been updated since version 5.2. With the introduction of New FamilySearch affiliates, it certainly appears that there are no plans to upgrade PAF, although there continues to be substantial support for the product.

One of the recommended products in the affiliate program is RootsMagic. I usually purchase and install all of the serious genealogy software on my computer and use it to determine if it is truly useful or not. I am pleased to report that nearly all the software I use is very useful and RootsMagic is no exception. It comes particularly highly recommended for its implementation of citations.

In looking into the history of the product, quoting directly from the RootsMagic Web site:

Founded in 1986, RootsMagic, Inc. is a publisher of family oriented software, with headquarters in Springville, Utah. RootsMagic’s product line includes its flagship genealogy software RootsMagic, Family Reunion Organizer, and Daily Journal which is sold under the Broderbund label. In addition, RootsMagic, Inc. also hosts Family-Reunion.com, the world’s most popular family reunion planning website.
The current version of RootsMagic available is 3.2.6. The features of the program implementing its connection to New FamilySearch are not available in the currently sold version of the program but are planned for version 4.0. At a recent genealogy conference at which the RootsMagic company representatives were present, I asked them about introduction of Version 4.0 and they did not yet have a release date. In going to their Web site, it still appears that Version 4.0 is yet to be released. At the computer conference, RootsMagic was selling Version 3.0 with a free upgrade to Version 4.0 when it is released.

Like many of the more useful genealogical database programs, RootsMagic offers a free Demo version of their program. I would strongly suggest that you demo any program you are interested in purchasing, before you put all of you information into the program. If you are presently using PAF, you may wish to consider RootsMagic as one of your choices.

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