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Knot Competent

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I've been working on my family background, off and on, over four decades now. Over the last ten years I've tried several computer programmes but none seem to do what I want. They're all capable of recording huge amounts of information in different ways, but all I want is a prog that will actually allow me to draw a family tree which shows names, date of birth, marriage and death. I could do it on SketchUp, but when you zoom in or out the text boxes never seem to stay in the right place.

Does anyone know of a programme, preferrably free or cheap, that will do what I want?

Regards, John
 

Steve Maskery

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HI KC,
I think that Waterhead is your man for this.

My own is all on paper, and I haven't looked at it for years. My first girlfriend (aaahh) was a historian, and she got me started. I have a cousin who is a Mormon, so that helps enormously, as they have a database open to all.

There is a Maskery Society, who looks into all this, and I went to infants school with a Jeff Maskrey. We assumed we weren't related, because of the spelling, but it turns out we have the same great-great grandparents.

The Maskerys have been in Nottingham since 1285, when Henri de Masacrier is recorded as selling meat at Nottingham Castle. So we assume we came from France, coming over with, or soon after, the Conquest. There are also, to this very day, towns and tribes called Maskri in Oman. So one theory is that we came over with the Moors to Spain, up through France and here I am today.

Cheers
Steve
 

wizer

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One of those things ive always wanted to do but not got round to. I have a rather unusual surname (only us in existence from what I can work out from the phone book) so could be quite interested. I think it's not knowing where to start which has stalled me.
 

Rob_H

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I've done quite a lot of family tree research over the last few years and used quite a few PC programs. I've never come across one that lets you draw your own - the point of most of them is to act as a database for your info and then produce a tree for you. I have to say Family Tree Maker is about the best and is what I use now because it has several options of how you want your tree displaying and what you want included on it. It is very user friendly and you can pick it up for £15-£20 on ebay - watch out for copies on there, though. I'm not sure you'll find a piece of family tree software that will do what you want ie let YOU draw the tree, but FTM is about the best there is IMO.
 

CHJ

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Knot Competent":ecehjy8r said:
I've been working on my family background, off and on, over four decades now. Over the last ten years I've tried several computer programmes but none seem to do what I want. They're all capable of recording huge amounts of information in different ways, but all I want is a prog that will actually allow me to draw a family tree which shows names, date of birth, marriage and death. I could do it on SketchUp, but when you zoom in or out the text boxes never seem to stay in the right place.

Does anyone know of a programme, preferrably free or cheap, that will do what I want?

Regards, John
The best program I have found is GenPro there is a free limited function version. I will be sending you a PM with details of how to access a sample with over 500 people shown with pictures.
 

Knot Competent

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Thanks for your replies so far, it's all very interesting. I can see that Smartdraw would fit the bill admirably, but it's very expensive just to do one or two charts. I've just tried SketchUp, and as I thought it won't zoom up or down without the text boxes going astray.

I have MS Office 2000, but don't know if there's an application on that which would do the trick, as I only use Word to do correspondence, and occasionally (but only when I'm forced to!) use Excel in a very basic way.
Does anyone know if (gulp!) Powerpoint would do what I want, if I read the flippin' manual?

Thanks CHJ, I'll look forward to seeing what you send, and will report back.

Any other genealogists out there with bright ideas?

Regards, John
 

CHJ

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Knot Competent":1fi9m1jq said:
Thanks CHJ, I'll look forward to seeing what you send, and will report back.


Regards, John
Your PM with password awaits

edit: anyone who wants to view justa sample of the Tree Structure can do so. Be aware that the image file is 800+k and should be viewable in IE, you will need to expand image and adjust cursors to find the tree, it covers a large area of destop.

This file may not be available for viewing for many days as this server space gets cleared out regularly.
 

CHJ

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waterhead37":32np4f8q said:
John,
Yet again, Open Office.org to the rescue. it is freeware, does virtually everything MS Office does and more besides including drawing with intelligent connectors etc.

Get it here:-

http://www.openoffice.org/
Chris, whilst OpenOffice may well be able to produce a reasonable flow chart, sketch or similar, what any office/drawing package however good it is cannot do, is provide all the complex relationships between individuals in the background and provide search facilities etc. these are essential to any reasonably large database.
The Tree structure referred to in my previous post has some 530+individuals in it, the recording of their details relationships and source material would swamp a simple 2D drawing. To integrate a spread sheet, text documents, photographs etc. into a usable application using OpenOffice, MS Office or any other suit would take a very deep understanding of the core relationships of the applications and writing many macros etc.
 

Chris Knight

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CHJ":36wewekm said:
Chris, whilst OpenOffice may well be able to produce a reasonable flow chart, sketch or similar, what any office/drawing package however good it is cannot do, is provide all the complex relationships between individuals in the background and provide search facilities etc. these are essential to any reasonably large database.
Chas,
I am fully aware of that but John was not looking for anything more than a drawing package if I read his original post correctly - of course I may have missed the point?

I have close to 7000 people in my database ( http://www.chrisknight.info/genealogy/browsetrees.php )and I can draw them any which way I want with the stuff I have (which includes GenoPro) but I felt that John was being very specific (and therefore restrictive) in his requirements and was not interested in other solutions.
 

Knot Competent

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Thanks again Chas, your tree is just what I wanted to achieve, and I'll go with that. A very useful link.

I loaded Open Office a week or so back, and didn't like the way it tried to take over MS Office. It converted all my Office documents to Open Office documents without being asked to, and I had several warnings that I had a variety of viruses and also (Alarm!) a Trojan. I can't say for definite that it was down to Open Office, but some coincidence. Fortunately Norton Antivirus has kept me clear of that stuff so far, and when I uninstalled Open Office all my documents reverted to normal. OO is probably fine if it's the only word processor on a computer, but better the devil I know, so as I know very little about computers I'll stick with MS.

Regards, John
 

Chris Knight

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John,


Really for the benefit of anyone who may be concerned - Open Office is virus and Trojan free. Its control over file types is fully in the hands of the PC admin and it can be denied anything you don't wish it to have. Plus - as you have found, it can be reset to a clean state if that is what you wish.
 

StevieB

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A very simple pedigree drawing package is called Cyrillic. It is or was, used in the medical field for drawing up disease pedigrees. One of its limitations was that you couldnt store an awful lot of information apart from the pedigree so most researchers have moved on to other software (Progeny is I think the current favourite). If you can find a copy of Cyrillic it should be cheap, but as it is for a specialised field I am not sure exactly where the best palce to look would be

Sorry if thats not much help,

Steve.
 

Knot Competent

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Thanks Steve, I'll do a search for that.

On a totally different subject, I was looking at Intarsia this weekend, and wondering if I could have a go as I think the results are very attractive. As soon as I saw your Avatar, I thought it would make a wonderful subject, but with different colours!

Regards, John
 

StevieB

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Glad you like the avatar - I downloaded a few cartoonish dinosaurs intending to cut round them as simple jigsaws for my son to do, must admit I havent got round to it yet :oops:

Steve.
 
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