BOOKS & DIG­I­TAL

This month’s fam­ily his­tory in­spi­ra­tion

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS - Chris Pa­ton is a pro­fes­sional ge­neal­o­gist, lec­turer and au­thor

(root­smagic.com, £49.95 Plat­inum Edi­tion) Root­sMagic 7 is the lat­est up­date for a faith­ful work­horse that usu­ally does what is asked of it, al­though for this re­view we did not ini­tially get off to a great start. The pro­gram re­fused to im­port a Gedcom file gen­er­ated on Fam­ily Tree Maker 2014, but thank­fully ac­cepted a file that was cre­ated through Fam­ily His­to­rian.

The main dis­play screen is fairly ba­sic visu­ally but func­tional. A side­bar pro­vides a rel­a­tives in­dex, while the main dis­play area fea­tures var­i­ous op­tions to view fam­ily in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a pedi­gree view, a fam­ily group sheet and an out­line de­scen­dant page. Click­ing on any name opens an edit screen, al­low­ing you to eas­ily add or re­move facts, me­dia, a to-do list and a re­search log.

Al­though the Root­sMagic chart tool avail­able through the main menu at the top of the screen is very flex­i­ble, it isn’t per­haps the eas­i­est fa­cil­ity to use when first get­ting to grips with the pro­gram. Ad­di­tional tools in­clude handy re­port and book pub­lish­ing op­tions, a fa­cil­ity to share data on­line or via CD and Soundex, date and re­la­tion­ships cal­cu­la­tors. New fea­tures in­clude the abil­ity to com­pare two dif­fer­ent files at the same time, while searches through on­line ven­dors sites for matches now in­clude Fam­i­lySearch and MyHer­itage.

The handy ‘Root­sMagic To-Go’ fea­ture al­lows you to run a file on an­other com­puter from a flash drive with­out in­stalling the full soft­ware. There is also a Root­sMagic app for tablets and mo­biles, but files can­not be synced di­rectly through the soft­ware – you need to up­load up­dates via Drop­box or iTunes in­stead. While a se­ries of data CDs (UK landowner records from the 1870s, an 1898 at­las and a her­aldry en­cy­clopae­dia) that are pro­vided with the UK Plat­inum Edi­tion do not add much to the re­search ex­pe­ri­ence, the three-month Gold sub­scrip­tion to the­ge­neal­o­gist. co.uk is cer­tainly use­ful.

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