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Scott Signal
06 February 2008, 03:41 PM
Greetings to everyone. My name is Scott and I'm fresh and new to genealogy. It's something I've had an interest in for some time but never quite knew how to begin. A couple of my aunts have a great deal of information on our very extensive family and I thought it might be a good time to start compiling it all and expanding it as much as possible.

Obviously, this is the Reunion message board so I imagine most folks here have a very positive opinion of Reunion. I am a Mac user and all of the sources I have consulted with indicate that this is THE software for genealogical work on a Mac. I'm just seeking advice from the seasoned users here before I take the $100 plunge. What are the criteria for choosing a program and what exactly is the tangible benefit to utilizing one over an online service?

Thank you and I hope to be a regular on this board, seeking information and assistance.

Scott

SGilbert
06 February 2008, 05:15 PM
Obviously you are correct in that we are all biased toward Reunion.

Never have used an online service, but, to me, the benefits are that your information is in YOUR computer, and not subject to tampering, snooping, and lack of internet access.

Whether Reunion is for you or not is dependent upon what you "want" out of a program. There are trials for all the programs including Reunion. Check them out.

And, YES, NOW is the time to get started! Too many people are just not around by the time you really need to know some information.

Scott Signal
06 February 2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the response. I'm pretty close to making a decision. I downloaded a demo of Reunion and it seems great, though I have no real context.

Yeah, this is something I should've started about 5 years ago. But time to get my butt in gear and get moving on it.


Scott

Al Poulin
06 February 2008, 06:22 PM
I'm just seeking advice from the seasoned users here before I take the $100 plunge. What are the criteria for choosing a program and what exactly is the tangible benefit to utilizing one over an online service?


I am not very well seasoned yet, but my wife has been using Reunion for years, beginning with v4 on Macintosh System 7.1. Reunion is the "gold standard" for genealogy on Macs, and I've seen mention of it being at the top of the list of all genealogy packages. You could check out reviews of another package or two, newly launched for OS X, in sources such as Macworld. You might find some useful information at:
http://www.dickeastman.com/
if you check out the links in the sidebar, particularly:
http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/software/index.html

Further, you could consider taking a beginner's class at a local public school at night and joining a genealogical society; the folks at your public library should help find a few of them. Also, visit your nearest Family History Center. Check this for location:
http://www.familysearch.org/

As for doing your work online instead of on your own machine, you can have Reunion on a desktop and legally install it also on a laptop which you can take with you when you visit libraries, cemeteries, and relatives.

You've already found one great advantage of using Reunion -- the folks here at ReunionTalk. I don't think the competition can match this benefit.

AE Palmer
06 February 2008, 11:17 PM
Greetings to everyone. My name is Scott and I'm fresh and new to genealogy. It's something I've had an interest in for some time but never quite knew how to begin. A couple of my aunts have a great deal of information on our very extensive family and I thought it might be a good time to start compiling it all and expanding it as much as possible.

// cut //

Thank you and I hope to be a regular on this board, seeking information and assistance.

Scott

Congratulations on taking up a great [and addictive] hobby. It will lead to many happy and sometimes frustrating hours of research.

As others have expressed their praises about Reunion, I will forgo that pleasure except to say al agree completely.

You are extremely fortunate to have access to the info your aunts are willing to share. Not to cast aspersions on their work, but I would spend some time spot checking what they have accomplished. That way you can get a feel for their accuracy. Assuming their data is accurate and well documented, you have a great base to work from.

But before rushing head long into the process of recording your data, I suggest you also spend time learning to properly cite sources and what to record. Therefore, I recommend you read a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills' book: "Evidence!" as it is an excellent reference book. (Time spent organizing yourself at this stage will pay enormous dividends down the road!)

Once you are ready to start searching for new material, CYNDI'S LIST and ROOTSWEB LISTS are two of the most important resources on the net.

Scott Signal
07 February 2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks for all the info everybody. I went ahead and bought Reunion last night. ;)

What tipped the scale for me were the numerous glowing reviews not only of the product itself but of the outstanding support as well.

I'm definitely going to look in to some of the resources that have been mentioned here and ABSOLUTELY will be checking the accuracy of the information that I do have. I'm trying to contact additional relatives right now to compare/confirm. I can tell this is going to be a very addictive endeavor...

jonathanedwards
12 February 2008, 01:04 AM
You will be very pleased. I have a copy of MacFamilyTree that I bought before I found Reunion that is little used. The only thing I like about MFT over Reunion is the feature that allows you to map your family on the globe. However, the selection of "locations" (latitude and longitude) based on geographical locations is extremely quirky.