Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PAF 'Personal Ancestral File'

You have begun accumulating some great records on your family. Soon the dates and names and places in those records will begin looking like a ‘junk drawer’ in your mind. You need a tool that will keep you organized. A way to keep each member of your extended family and your ancestors in their rightful place.

You will be surprised to know the computer was invented just for this purpose. Yes, I know, there are many other applications for computers in business and personal life. I think it is very generous of us to allow others to use the computer for those other purposes, but genealogy is its primary purpose ( just ask anyone passionate about family history).

If you have a computer, acquire a family history program. There are many that you can purchase. You may also download free of charge the PAF program you will find at It is an incredible program and is easy to use.

On the main page of - down just a little and on the right side of the page you will find ‘Free PAF Family History Software’. Click on ‘Download PAF’ and a window will open for you to register. Once you fill in your name and email address click on ‘submit’. You then will follow the directions for downloading the PAF program. Once it is downloaded and you have gone through the ‘Getting Started’ short tutorial I would encourage you to go to the menu bar at the top of the on ‘Help’ and then click on ‘Lessons’. These are very helpful in learning how to use the PAF program fully.

Now you have a place for everyone in your family and you can start entering the information you have gathered. There are several benefits for having a family history computer program.

Once entered, the person is there forever unless you delete them. You never have to re-enter a person.

If a relative wants a copy of a particular family, you won’t have to copy it by hand, you’ll print the report from the program.

You are able to add newly acquired information without creating a whole new page.

If you don’t have a computer, there are several approaches you can take to still be able to use the PAF program or any other program you might purchase instead.

Work with a sibling, child, grandchild or friend on their computer.

Use the computers at the Family History Center near where you live.

Use a computer at your local county library.

Once you let your family know that you want to work on the family history, ask for a combined family gift for your birthday or other holiday.

Enjoy growing your family tree using a family history computer program.

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