On 16 February 2016, Dick Eastman on his Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter mentioned a new genealogy program, in his post rootsTrust: a Genealogy Program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux and I decided to give it a try.
The first thing I did was to import a GEDCOM file from another genealogy program. I wasn’t able to import my main tree (I left it running for one hour, and it didn’t appear to have progressed at all), so I decided to try a smaller file, which it seemed to handle okay.
It does take a while to work out how to navigate through the program, as the format is different to programs I have used in the past. There are a lot of tabs to go through to get to the view you want.
This is the Person view
And this is the family view
I found that having the children in the secondary tab, and chronological events for the family as the primary tab, was a bit annoying – I like to be able to view the date of marriage and the names of the children at the same time.
One thing I noticed very early on was the places screen.
This screen allows for the use of Parishes and townships, as well as cities, counties, states and countries. It also allows you to use a Long Name, that you can then use as a standardized place name to use with other programs.
In this program, you can add notes to place names, but a really good feature is the ability to link places, and once the notes have been added to one of the places, these will automatically be copied to the linked places. The YouTube video describing how this works can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoNUAlByorQ.
This program has a lot more categories of information that you can record for individuals, which can be found on the left menu. The biomedical option allows you to keep track of medical conditions that family members suffer or suffered from, as well as a place to record DNA data.
One good thing was that there is an option to link to documents and multimedia for practically every bit of information, as well as references (sources).
It took me a while to work out that the general notes for an individual are located in Miscellaneous on the left menu.
One feature I also liked was the ability to add a Find A Grave Memorial No to death and burial events.
One feature that is lacking is in the number of reports, and the options available in generating reports. There are only a few reports listed, and when clicked on, there is no option to modify the report, it comes up automatically as a Microsoft Word file.
The next thing I decided to do was to try setting up a family tree from scratch, to see how easy it is to add information. It took a bit of searching to work out how to add a new person, which I eventually found by selecting Edit > Person > Add Person
Once I had added the first person, I found adding data to be a complicated process. In other programs, information can be added with a click (or double click) of the mouse, and in some cases with the use of keyboard shortcuts, but information in rootsTrust often can only be added by right clicking, and then selecting from a menu. This makes entering data a slow process. Also, the way that the person view is set up, it is difficult to keep track of which person you’re actually working on. I found I added a mother to the father, rather than the child, as I had navigated to the child’s father without realizing it.
Overall, there are some interesting features in this program, but it is lacking in other areas. As a result, I found that I prefer to continue to use my current family tree program.