One of the things that I will do with my mother in the coming months is to write down our family’s genealogy. We are both interested in both the research involved and how far back in history we can trace our family tree. For that, I’m currently testing various genealogy software programs to find a suitable candidate for the task. Gramps on first glance offers everything that one would need from a genealogy software.
Gramps has a lot to offer from a technical perspective. The free Open Source application is available as a portable version (from portable apps) and installer. It comes with a plugin system to add more functionality and features to the program. Plugins can be installed at first startup, or from within the program via Help > Plugin Manager.
Addons add importing and exporting capabilities, report generation, various relationship calculators, additional sources and a lot more.
New users need to create at least one family tree in the beginning before they can start adding family members to that database.
Data like people, relationships, events, places or media are added by first selecting the menu in the left sidebar. New data is then added by right-clicking in the interface and selecting the Add context menu entry or from the main menu bar.
Individuals are best added via the People menu, family connections via the Families menu. You can theoretically add father, mother and children individually via the People menu, or all together via the Families menu.
The program has a lot to offer in terms of data that can be added to individual people. From personal events like birth, death or marriage over data sources and attributes to media objects like photos and associations. Most of the available data fields are completely optional, which is understandable as many information are often not available.
The genealogy software requires some getting used to time which can be mainly attributed to the wealth of data that it can store. Users have so many options that it can be difficulty to keep an overview of everything.
The software can generate different types of reports at any time. This includes a book report, graphical reports or graphs. Views can also be exported as comma separated value files or OpenDocument spreadsheets.
It is possible to create a basic family tree in minutes. This tree would be restricted to names, birth dates and relationships.
Gramps is a very sophisticated genealogical research software. I would suggest to download the program from the portable apps website, as it includes all dependencies (Python) and is fully portable. Users who want to install Gramps from the official website need to make sure that they have Python up and running on their system as the software requires that. Gramps is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.