“Personal Ancestral File: New Genealogical Software for Home Computers,” Ensign, June 1984, 78
The Genealogical Department of the Church has announced the Personal Ancestral File™, a new genealogy software program for personal computers. This sophisticated yet easy-to-use system for simplifying genealogical record-keeping is modestly priced at $35 and is now available.
The package consists of six program diskettes and a detailed manual that enables users to assemble pedigrees and compile a wealth of genealogical information for each of their ancestors.
In addition to storing a wide range of vital statistics, Personal Ancestral File enables users to enter valuable historical and source information for each individual. All of this information is stored on diskettes other than the program diskette, which means that there is no limit to the amount of data that can be stored.
Information retrieval is fast and easy, and the system will sort and print various lists. The program will also group families together, linking husbands and wives, children, parents, and siblings—and it will repeat these functions for each generation.
Information entered into the system can be printed out. The program can print blank or filled-in pedigree charts and family group record forms in either letter or legal size. The program can also produce completed name submission forms for temple ordinances as well as lists of persons whose temple work has not been completed. Forms printed by this system will be accepted by the Genealogical Department for four-generation filing or for temple ordinances.
The system also has a separate data-sort utility to simplify the management of large volumes of original research data. With this program, information sources can be documented in detail. Data is entered as individual events (birth, marriage, military service, death, etc.). These events can then be sorted or searched by name, date, place, relationship, or source, and then saved or printed.
Personal Ancestral File is a powerful tool for compiling information, and as such, it promises to be a great aid to personal and family genealogical work. However, it will not automatically organize genealogical record-keeping or teach research principles or strategies. Nor will it provide access to any of the computer files in the Genealogical Department. Church development of this system is not intended to encourage the purchase of a personal computer, as it is not necessary to have a computer to do genealogy.
At present, Personal Ancestral File has been developed for IBM PC and IBM PC/XT computers with the following capacities: 64K RAM minimum (DOS 1.1) or 128K RAM minimum (DOS 2.0 and above); two disk drives (two floppies or one floppy and one hard); printer: condensed print (16/17 characters per inch) on 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper, or elite print (12 characters per inch) on 8 1/2″ by 14″ paper. To order, write to: Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104, USA. (Catalog number is PBGS1019; cost, $35.)
TRS-80 III and Apple II+ versions are planned. Inquiries about the availability of these and other versions should be addressed to: Genealogical Department, Ancestral File Operations Unit, 50 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, USA; or telephone (801) 531-2584.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. TRS-80 is a registered trademark of Radio Shack, a division of Tandy Corporation. The licensor is not affiliated with the above named corporations.