New Genealogy Software Available for Computers

“New Genealogy Software Available for Computers,” Ensign, July 1986, 75

New Genealogy Software Available for Computers

A new version of the Church’s genealogical software for personal computers is now available.

The Personal Ancestral File 2.0 software has been developed to aid those who own or have access to a personal computer, although computer technology is not necessary for the genealogical work members are expected to do. The Church does not encourage members to purchase a computer simply to use the software.

While the original software package (Personal Ancestral File 1.0), released two years ago, was written in BASIC, Personal Ancestral File 2.0 uses “C,” a computer language that allows faster operation and fits on fewer diskettes.

In addition to being faster and more compact than Personal Ancestral File 1.0 software, the new Personal Ancestral File 2.0 package features GEDCOM, a Genealogical Data Communications program that allows a user to transmit family records data from one computer, via a telephone modem or by mailing diskettes, to another user and his computer. The two computers need not have compatible operating systems, provided both are using the Personal Ancestral File 2.0 software. The new software is available in three different versions, for use with IBM/MS-DOS, Apple II, or CP/M-system computers.

Owners of the Personal Ancestral File 1.0 software can transfer data from that package directly to the new software if they elect to purchase it.

The two programs operate only on personal computers. They do not provide access to any of the computer files in the Church’s Genealogical Department in Salt Lake City. However, forms printed by the system will be accepted by the Genealogical Department for four-generation filing or for LDS temple ordinances.

Personal Ancestral File 2.0 will produce pedigree charts and other forms that can be generated with the Church’s original personal computer software. The new software also makes it possible to enter source reference notes and historical and other information for each individual in the file. It also can be used to print a descendant chart through ten generations.

Personal Ancestral File 2.0 software sells for $35 a package. Descriptive brochures and order blanks can be obtained from the Ancestral File Operations Unit, Genealogical Department, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, telephone (801) 531-2584.