Copyright 2012 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Notes This page was last updated 2011-06-18.
Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don Snow's Class Listings Page .

  1. Instructors are Donald R. and Diane M. Snow ( and ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes with the active Internet links are posted on .  You can put an icon on your desktop to go to them immediately.
  3. Tip: holding down the Control Key while clicking on a link opens the link in a new window, so you don't lose your place where you were.
  4. Announcements
    1. Don and Diane's class coming up - Sat 2012-09-15, 10 am - noon, WHAT TO DO WITH A LETTER COLLECTION USING ERASTUS SNOW'S FAMILY LETTERS AS AN ILLUSTRATION -- at Riverton FamilySearch Library, Riverton, Utah
    2. 1940 US Census was released recently (2 Apr 2012) and anyone 72 or older and in the US in 1940 should be in it.  Images are posted several places including -- To find people before the index is finished you can first find the Enumeration District at .  Everyone can help index the 1940 US Census by signing up at and the indexing of it is already more than half done.
    3. With an LDS account you can sign up for the new interface FamilySearch Family Tree of new FamilySearch and you only have to do this once -- Go to and register with your LDS account -- Now when you go to  and sign in with your LDS account (upper right hand corner) you see a new "Family Tree" button next to the FS logo and this takes you to your nFS data in a new format called FamilySearch Family Tree (FS FT) -- very helpful format to work with, but you still have to go back to new FamilySearch to do some things  
  5. This class will discuss and demonstrate some programs that are freeware for genealogy.
    1. "Freeware" means completely free with no "nag" screens; can use freely and give copies to anyone else
    2. "Shareware" means that if you plan to use it regularly, you should send a specified donation (usually small) to the author at the address given in the program.
    3. "Open Source" means freeware including the source code, so you can edit it, if you know programming
    4. "App" means application, i.e. software
  6. Most of the programs below are freeware and many could be listed in two or more categories


  8. PAF 5.2 -- -- Still a useful program until you need something more; easy to get help at any FHC-- all earlier versions of PAF are on the CD from the LDS Church Distribution Centers (about $8) and can be installed in Windows to convert old PAF files to GEDCOM to import into other programs -- PAF Companion 5.2 is bundled with PAF and gives additional reports, including fan charts
  9. Ancestral Quest -- -- Has a free version (Ancestral Quest Basics), as well as a 60-day free trial of full version; can be used to link to and download from new FamilySearch; full version is free to use in FHC's
  10. RootsMagic -- -- Has a free version (RootsMagic Essentials); can be used to download from new FamilySearch; full version is free to use in FHC's
  11. Legacy -- -- Free version (Standard version); full version is free to use in FHC's
  12. Get My Ancestors -- -- Freeware to download ancestors and descendants from new FamilySearch -- Ohana Software also makes Family Insight to link your PAF database to new FamilySearch, commercial, but free to use in FHC's
  13. Family Tree Builder -- -- Free genealogy program, includes facial recognition program
  14. Smart Genealogy -- -- Free genealogy program; can import/export Excel and GEDCOM files


  15. GENViewer Lite -- -- free and commercial versions; very fast and helpful to read and analyze GEDCOM's and databases from several genealogy programs
  16. OurTimelines -- -- Free website that makes timelines of world events during your ancestor's life; can be personalized with up to 10 events of your own ancestor's life; can as pdf or html file and link it into your genealogy program
  17. OnePageGenealogy -- -- freeware to make large pedigree/descendant pdf charts from GEDCOM's; website has the password needed so a print shop can print it for you
  18. CreateFan Chart -- -- can use your LDS account and create a free 9-generation fan chart of your ancestors from the data in nFS -- can generate one for anyone at , if you know their PID
  19. United Kingdom parishes
    1. -- maps, parishes, jurisdictions, helps
    2. Parish Locator -- -- Program and database of 15,000 parishes in the United Kingdom; draws maps with nearby parishes
    3. Parish Locator for Windows -- -- Program and database of 25,000 parishes in the United Kingdom
  20. Addnote -- -- free utility to add a note to every record in a GEDCOM
  21. Addsour -- -- free utility to add a source to every record in a GEDCOM


  23. Adobe Reader X -- -- Free reader for pdf files
  24. PDF X-Change Viewer -- -- free for private use, very helpful to edit and annotate pdf's; can fill in pdf forms; includes an OCR feature (Optical Character Recognition)
  25. FastStone Capture -- version 5.3 is last freeware version (later versions are shareware) -- -- Excellent screen capture utility that also captures entire scrolling screens in browsers other than Firefox
  26. FastStone Image Viewer -- -- Good image viewer that also has screen capture features, but not scrolling screen captures
  27. Namexif -- -- Renamer for digital photos that copies date and time from metadata and puts them at start of file name, so sorting arranges photos in chronological order; can add other descriptive terms after the date and time for further searches
  28. Irfanview -- -- Photo editor, converter, and slide shower; many features, including batch conversions
  29. Picasa 3 -- -- Google's free photo organizer and editor; has facial recognition feature to help you organize and name people in photos
  30. GIMP -- -- Open source photo editor -- GIMPShop is an interface that makes GIMP menus look and act like PhotoShop
  31. Oscar's File Renamer -- -- Good batch file renamer that allows you to see what the file names will look like before you actually change them
  32. Transcript -- -- Helps you in transcribing images of handwritten documents, keeps image and your typed text in sync as you move down the page


  34. Audacity -- -- Excellent sound recorder and editor; complicated program, but basics are easy to use
  35. WavePad -- -- Sound recorder and editor
  36. VLC -- -- Good media player, has adjustments to synchronize sound and video when they don't match
  37. Skype -- -- Free program to talk through your computer and the Internet - free to talk to other Skype users worldwide, small charge to talk to any land or cell phone worldwide; requires a broadband connection
  38. Listen N Write Free -- -- plays audio, starts, stops, backs up, or goes forward with key strokes to help in transcribing


  40. Evernote -- -- Freeware note program; synchronizes your notes between computers and stores your notes online so you can get to them anywhere you can get to the Internet; notes can be text, images, URL's, or webpages; has OCR indexing for pdf's; has apps for mobile devices
  41. Essential PIM -- -- Freeware personal information manager (PIM); good for appointments, calendars, To Do lists, etc.
  42. TreePad Lite -- -- Freeware note and personal information manager (PIM), uses tree-format
  43. Notetab Lite -- -- Freeware note program
  44. Jarte -- -- Small, very fast, free text editor that handles txt and rtf
  45. LibreOffice -- -- Powerful open source freeware office suite compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; updated more often than Apache OpenOffice which is similar --  
  46. IBM Lotus Symphony office suite -- -- Free and compatible with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  47. Gnumeric spreadsheet --  -- Open source spreadsheet compatible with Excel and many others
  48. NotePad++ -- -- Excellent open source text editor - very useful for many formats
  49. PDFX-Change Viewer -- see details in Graphics paragraph above 
  50. PDF Split and Merge -- -- Open source program to split or combine pdf files
  51. JOCR -- -- Freeware optical character recognition program for images of text on screen - small, fast, and works well, but requires that MS Word 2003 or later be installed (doesn't work with OpenOffice)
  52. Tinyspell -- -- Spell checker that works even in genealogy program notes
  53. Thunderbird Email -- -- Free open source email reader with many helpful features


  55. Everything -- -- Very fast desktop search program for files on your computer; very helpful to search, launch, and organize files on your computer
  56. Q-Dir -- -- Freeware two or more panel Windows Explorer-type program for file maintenance such as checking, copying, moving, and deleting files
  57. Glary Utilities --  -- Helpful computer utilities to keep your computer running smoothly; free for home use
  58. BelArc Advisor -- -- Utility to list your computer's hardware, software, and license keys
  59. Dropbox -- -- Synchronizes via the Internet whatever you put in the Dropbox folder on one computer to any other computer(s) you specify
  60. FileSeek -- -- Free and fast search engine for text inside files on your computer
  61. DupKiller -- -- Fast program to find all the duplicate files on your computer
  62. Piriform Defragler -- -- Good defragger for your hard drives
  63. Advanced SystemCare Free --  -- Helpful computer utilities
  64. JustZipIt -- -- Simple zip/unzip file compression program
  65. WinHTTrack -- -- Will download all or part of an entire website for backing up and offline browsing 
  66. PageNest Free -- -- Website copier for offline reading and backing up
  67. Resoph Notes -- -- Freeware notes program that acts like a clipboard extender
  68. Clipboard Magic -- -- Saves multiple clip items and can save to various clip lists
  69. PhraseExpress -- -- Freeware program that expands phrases as you type the first few letters
  70. Karen's Replicator -- -- Freeware to backup your data from one location to another
  71. ImgBurn -- -- Freeware CD/DVD image burner with instructions
  72. LogMeIn Free -- (listed under Products) -- Allows you to control one computer through another over the Internet


  74. Many freeware programs are better than the corresponding commercial programs.
    1. -- Lists freeware that works like commercial programs
    2. -- Finds open source alternatives to commercial programs
  75. Free Apps -- -- you select the freeware programs you want from a list and it installs all of them for you
  76. Portable Apps -- -- contains several good freeware apps and allows them to run from your flash drive so you can take them with you
  77. Many additional freeware and shareware programs
    1. -- Categories of freeware
    2. -- Article and list of open source freeware
    3. -- List of freeware
    4. -- The Free Software Foundation
    5. -- The largest open source software (freeware) development site
    6. -- Old Versions of software
    7. -- Old Apps - older versions of freeware and some commercial apps
  78. To find many more such websites do a Google search for terms like "genealogy freeware" or "free software for family history" (without the quotes)

Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don Snow's Class Listings Page .