Moving from paper to digital?

If your family history research is currently on paper, or in Word, Excel, or similar files, perhaps with supporting certificates and documents you have found at the archives, you may want to transfer your family tree to a digital format to share with others, or use services such as Twiggli.

There are lots of options for converting your research into digital format – you can use websites like Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage or FamilySearch. Websites are particularly useful if you want help from a genealogist, or you want to collaborate with other family members and share your research with them.

Ancestry is probably the most popular website choice in the UK. Although the website will steer you towards creating a subscription account, it is possible to set up a free Ancestry account where you can build your tree using the documents you already have.

Alternatively you can use software packages like FamilyHistorian, Heredis, FamilyTreeMaker, RootsMagic, or LegacyFamilyTree.

Software is ideal if you are happy to work alone, have limited internet access, or if you prefer not to store your family history in the cloud.

Both types – websites or software – can be used to organise your research, and in due course, to create a gedcom file for services like Twiggli.

If learning to use new software or a website is too daunting, you could employ a professional genealogist who will be able to transfer your data for you. There are defintely some advantages to using a professional genealogist.

Prices are likely to be the same as for normal research packages, as the genealogist will be checking your data as they enter it – however, they should be able to move a lot faster and get a lot further with all your existing research to get the ball rolling!

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