Frequently Asked Questions
  • Exactly what is a GEDCOM file?
  • What is a Zipped File?
  • What is downloading?
  • Suggested Sites to Find the Answers to Genealogy Questions
  • What is shareware?
  • Need a Free Genealogy Program to help with your Research?
  • How long does downloading take?

    Suggested Sites to Find the Answers to Genealogy Questions

    An excellent source for the answer to almost any general genealogy question is The Signal Newsletter of the United States Internet Genealogical Society (USIGS).  Another "don't miss" site is John Fuller's Genealogy Resources on The Internet   The Journal of Online Genealogy is a monthly online magazine filled with helpful articles.

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    What is downloading?

    Downloading is the process of moving files from one computer to another through the use of a modem or other communications device. In fact, you have already downloaded many files without even realizing it. Every time that you point your web browser to a location, your browser downloads the page data and all the associated components (graphics, Java applets, etc..) and then displays them. That is why it takes more time for more complex pages to load; there is more information for your computer to download.

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    What is shareware?

    Shareware, like freeware can be downloaded from the internet for free. The difference is that the authors of shareware expect you to pay them for the use of their software if you enjoy using it and would like to continue using it. Many times once you have paid for the shareware the author will send you an enhanced version of the product and send you updates as they are released. Paying for shareware is based on the honor system, but remember, this is the way that the author gets paid for the hard work and effort involved in creating the product you are using.

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    How long does downloading take?

    It depends on the size of the file and the speed of your modem. Another factor that can affect downloading time is how busy the computer that you are downloading from is. Other factors that effect downloading time is the workload on the computers that the information must pass through to get from the remote computer (computer that you are downloading from) to your computer. Downloading very early in the morning would be the optimum time since there would be less people on the internet to slow down the flow of data. Of course what is early morning where you are is prime time elsewhere. The Web is world wide and used at all hours. Remember, when you are browsing the web you are downloading information so if you are downloading a file and browsing at the same time, the processes will slow each other down.

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    Exactly what is a GEDCOM file?

        The acronym GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. It is the standard file format for exchanging information between genealogy programs. GEDCOM files will have the filename extension of .ged. GEDCOM is used to transfer information into your genealogy software program from another genealogy program that supports GEDCOM and vice versa. Nearly all genealogy software programs being written today support this standard. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) developed the GEDCOM standard.
    Currently, the latest version of GEDCOM is 5.5, but new standards are being worked on.
        Why Use Gedcoms? 
    Most genealogy programs store data in proprietary data forms which cannot be read by other programs. Which is fine if everyone used the same software, but they don't! If I wanted to share information from my Family Tree Maker program with a friend who used another genealogy program, I'd be out of luck unless both programs supported the import and export of data in GEDCOM format. Today, almost all of the programs available support GEDCOM, so you can share your data with just about everyone.
        For instance, let's say I want to share a particular line from my Family Tree Maker file with a friend who uses a different program. To generate a GEDCOM file, I open the Family File which I wish to share, and use the Save As... command to tell Family Tree Maker to export the data in GEDCOM format. Some programs allow you to specify how information will appear in the GEDCOM file by choosing a particular version of GEDCOM, whether you wish notes included, and whether you wish tags to be abbreviated. Check your program to see what particular options you have when exporting a GEDCOM.  
        Once the GEDCOM file is created, you can give it to your friend on a disk, or attach it to an e-mail. You can also view your GEDCOM using a word processor or text editor. Although a GEDCOM is nothing more than a text file, you should not alter it unless you are familiar with GEDCOM standards.
        Upon receiving your GEDCOM, your friend can import it into her genealogy program, and voila! A data exchange has taken place. With GEDCOM you can view others' research, incorporate it into your own file, print it out, and add or subtract to it without having to type the data in by hand.  For additional information on Gedcom files and their uses please visit the following link -  GEDCOM

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    What is a Zipped File??

    What Is A Zip File, Anyhow?

    Zip files are "archives" used for distributing and storing files. Zip files contain one or more files. Usually the files "archived" in a Zip are compressed to save space. Zip files make it easy to group files and make transporting and copying these files faster.

    Why Do People Use Zip Files?
    Zip files save time and space, and make downloading software and transferring e-mail attachments faster. Typical uses for Zip files include: Where can I get a copy of an unzipping Utility?
    The most frequently used utility is Win-Zip.  An evaluation copy can be downloaded at WinZip 10.0 SR-1 Evaluation Version for Windows

    About WinZip - What's new in WinZip 10.0    WinZip is The most popular compression utility for Windows, with more than 150 million downloads!

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    Need a Free Genealogy Program to help with your Research?

    Personal Ancestral File - Multi-Language (9.7 MB) - Personal Ancestral File is a product of and distributed by the Church of Latter Day Saints.  Personal Ancestral File 5.2 (build is a Windows®-based version of one of the most widely used genealogical management programs for home computers. The software program can be downloaded free from the Internet. PAF 5.2 does not provide genealogical data. Instead, it helps users organize their family history records. It can produce, either on screen or on paper, family histories, pedigree charts, family group records, and other reports to help users in their search for missing ancestors.

    Current Features allow users to:

    To Download a Version of PAF Please click here - Download or Vistit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Website