Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The genealogy programs I use

You guys are a curious bunch!  After I posted about Transcript I got FIVE emails in one day wanting to know what all genealogy programs I use.  I am just going to screenshot the contents of my genealogy programs folder that I have on my desktop which contains all of the shortcuts.  The only ones you won’t see on this list are MS Office, Evernote and Picasa which I also use for genealogy.  You will see that I have quite a few genealogy database programs on my computer even though I work for Legacy.   I use them for testing purposes and to help Legacy customers who are trying to switch over from another program.  The only one I don’t have that I want to get is The Master Genealogist but it is a little pricey and they don’t have a free version so I will be watching for some sort of mega sale.  Another program that I would like to have is DeedMapper (or something similar).  This one is also a bit pricey.  The one thing that I don’t like about DeepMapper is that even though it will handle the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is does it very awkwardly.  The program is set up specifically for metes and bounds.  I would like to find a program that I can use to map out an entire township/range instead of having to try and draw it out by hand on poster size paper.  If anyone knows of a program that can handle this let me know.  If you have other favorite programs you can post about them in the comments section.

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Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

11 comments:

  1. Michele,
    Try using Excel to map out an entire township or even several townships. I set up a template that I use and have found it quite useful.

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    1. I am an Excel novice. If I were to do one township (36 sections) how do you get all of the cells to be perfect squares and how do you subdivide each section? Once you get everything subdivided I guess it is easy to just insert the names into each parcel. I need a tutorial!

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  2. I feel your pain regarding the PLSS. I ran into the same problem last Fall, and I ended up mapping the entire township by hand using the plat map and patent info from the BLM-GLO website. Took a while, but it turned out pretty (and it was only 8-1/2 x 11).

    You can see the finish products here: https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t1.0-9/1452383_10202327566612246_1168319698_n.jpg

    and here: https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/t1.0-9/578112_10202323280785103_1276960103_n.jpg

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    1. Nice, Jenny!!! Did you have a template you started with or did you do that completely by hand? I have tried to create a township template but I can't get everything the right size.

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    2. I just printed the plat map from the BLM-GLO website and drew directly on it.

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    3. Hummmm, I wonder if I can blow it up a bit to fill a page, I bet I can :)

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  3. Maybe what I need is a giant piece of graph paper...

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  4. I love maps and land records! For Mississippi research, the Dept. of Transportation has county highway maps of all 82 counties as PDFs on their website. You can save to your computer and print out areas needed. Also comes in handy for little day trips!
    http://mdot.ms.gov/portal/planning.aspx?open=Maps
    Other states may have their maps online.
    BTW, you can specify the size of the cells in Excel to make all the same size. I haven't tried to use it for maps, but that's a good tip.

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    1. I use the MS DOT maps all the time! They have the township and ranges marked on them. They are great.

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  5. Have you looked at Terrain by Softree?

    My husband has used a number of CAD and mapping programs in his work, and feels that this is something you might want to try. He uses the free demo version, and it does everything he wants it to do. He uses it for land management and planning, and has used it for areas up to one section in size. He often creates a map on top of an aerial photograph; he said the key is to get the photo scaled correctly. http://www.softree.com/Products/Mapping_TerrainToolsRecreational.aspx

    He also commented that Google maps has mapping tools to allow you to draw a map on top of one of their maps; the scaling is already done, but he said it doesn't allow for the same level of accuracy.

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