Genealogy Tools Research Guide



This page should help those getting started with genealogy research to understand what tools are useful to find, store, or process their genealogical data. Unless specifically noted, it should be assumed that these tools are available at LDS Family History Centers (Find a Center Near You).

Ancestral Author

A Windows-compatible software application designed to convert GEDCOM and supporting (e.g. text, image) files into PDF version 1.2 file format. Ancestral Author is available as pay-for-license software for Version 2 with some free upgrade support. The product website does not advertise a free trial period prior to purchase.

  • Publisher: Ancestral Softworks
  • Publisher product identifier: 53701
  • Version: 2.7 (5 January 2008)
  • Compatibility: Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, VISTA
  • Availability: via website

Ancestral File

You can search Ancestral File by going to , clicking on Advanced Search, then on Ancestral File. Ancestral File is a compilation of family trees submitted to FamilySearch during the 70's and 80's I believe. It was succeeded by the Pedigree Resource File, which is also searchable at FamilySearch. But the majority of FamilySearch data is in the International Genealogical Index, which is the result of thousands of people indexing millions of records over a period of several decades. Because there isn't a mechanism to correct errors, the data available in this resource shouldn't be used without validation (see What is the Ancestral File?).


[description] -- {variations: DOS,,}


GEDCOM files are created by genealogy software programs or web sites to share genealogy records. To use the genealogy data in this file, you must import this file into your genealogy software (i.e., PAF).
see for more information

International Genealogical Index (IGI)

[brief description]
see What is the IGI?

Pedigree Resource File

[brief description]

Personal Ancestral File (PAF)

[brief description] -- {since this is one of many genealogy software packages, how do we want to handle this?} PAF Lessons

PAF Insight

[brief description]

Temple Ready

[brief description]

See Also...