Pennington Research Association

Other Tips

Here are some quick tips to help you get started with using your computer to help you with genealogical research.  If you have a web site or a favorite tip you would like to see posted here, please send it to Gene Pennington, Research Director.

Click on any of the sentences below that are underlined to "jump" to that section.

Here are some websites with some great information about graphics, photographs and images.  Includes details of the difference in computer graphic files, when to use which graphic file type and other useful hints.

Here are some websites to help you understand the many different genealogy computer software programs and other tips.

This is a quick and easy guide to use when working with GEDCOM files.

Here are some helpful links to websites to help genealogy researchers learn about copyrights. 

Using Graphics, Photographs and Images

Tips on using photographs and images on your web pages. Steven Horowitz,'s expert on images and a frequent guest speaker at genealogy conferences, presents an outline of his presentation.  Interesting, full of great information and easy to understand.  The web page has links to many of the most popular graphic software programs.

Computer Genealogy Software and Other Tips

Compulogy Richard Wilson's website for his company, Compulogy, which specializes in both Computers and Genealogy. The site a link at the bottom of its home page titled "Comparing Genealogy Software Programs" that you may find useful.  It also contains links to many other resources for using your computer to help with your genealogy research and how to save the information and data.
Family Tree Maker - Great genealogy software program for the beginner and intermediate researchers.

Second Site - Builds web pages and CDs from the data files created by your genealogy software.

RootsMagic - An exciting new full featured genealogy program by RootsMagic.  Easy to use yet very powerful.

These are links to the more popular genealogy software programs.  These are not necessarily recommended by the PRA, however, these appear to be the ones used by a large percent of researchers.  If you would like to have others posted here, please contact , Research Director.

Common Sense Guide for GEDCOM Files

Note:  For more information about GEDCOM files, click here to go to the FAQ page.  Look for the question about GEDCOM files near the top.

  • Always load a new GEDCOM into a separate blank database.

  • Check the file for errors, and make notes of problems.

  • Always run your genealogy software's problem report if it has one.

  • Once you have cleaned up this much of the GEDCOM/Database, make a backupbefore proceeding.

  • Now standardize the data into the format you have set for your database.  This includes:

Name Capitalization

Name spellings and format for compound names like Fitz Roy

Name Suffix's and Prefix's, for Jr. etc.


Notes  -  Spelling, Format, etc.

General vs. Fact Notes Sources - Format, Content, Spelling, etc.


  • Identify how this data will fit into your database and where you plan tolink chains together.

  • Determine BEFORE you do it, if you want to merge your GEDCOM with your existing database.  I suggest you do NOT unless you are very, very sure this is what you want.  I suggest you create a NEW database and import your new GEDCOM file into the new database.  Then you can select those records and information you want from the new database to bring into your existing database.

  • IF you decide to merge the GEDCOM with your existing database, merge the data slowly, with Backup's before and after.  Test yourBackups.

If you do not already have your own standards for your database, create onebefore proceeding.  Spend the time to make your data appear as you want itbefore adding other peoples data.


Copyright Resources

Here is a list of some of the resources covered during a broadcast episode on August 4, 2102 of FGS ( Radio entitled Copyright and Your Genealogy Society:

Is It Protected By Copyright? A Digital Slider from the American Library Association:

Copyright & Genealogy. A resource list from the Association of Professional Genealogists:

The Legal Genealogist. Website and blog dealing with copyright and other legal issues by Judy G. RussellCG:

Copy Right. Copy Sense. A resource of articles about copyright for genealogists:

Copyright for Genealogists. An article at Family Tree Magazine by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack:

Cyndi's List: Copyright. Resources for copyright and intellectual property:

Copyrights & Wrongs. An article by Mark Howells:

Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning. A resource site by Renee Hobbs geared towards educators, but lots of good information for genealogy societies:

The three words on the scroll of the Coats of Arms are "Vincit amor patriae"

"Vincit amor patriae" means "The love of my country prevails" or "Love of Country Conquers" which is the United States Army 28th Infantry Regiment's motto.   "Vincent amor patriae laudumque immensa cupido" means "The love of my country exceeds everything."

The following motto appears in English above the mountain cat of the original Baron Muncaster Crest.  "Firm, Vigilant, Active" -Virg. AEn. vi. 823 v. Muncaster b. Pennington

Pennington Research Association, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization and donations are tax deductible.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome.  Copyright 2000 - 2021 Pennington Research Association, Inc. - All Rights Reserved 

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