by Dwight Dover
Gramps is a terrific program for tracking your ancestors. If you are saying to yourself "who cares?", then you must be under the age of 50. I know that was also how I felt. Then, my father-in-law brought me a pile of documents and photos, many of which dated from the early 1900's, and wanted them digitized and placed on a computer disk for distribution to relatives. His concern was the loss of all that data, when he was gone. After trying a spreadsheet program, I began looking for a better way. Gramps Genealogy package was found in our Synaptic Package Manager!
Yes, it is easy to use. That was one concern of mine. I simply began by entering my name (Add a New Person) with the information I knew, like date of birth, town where I was born, and a photo or two. I added my wife (Relationships-Add a Partner) and then began entering parents (Add a New Set of Parents).
You may find lots of information about your ancestors on the internet simply by searching for a name and possible birth date. Ancestry.com is an excellent source to find information about your family. Remember, if it is on the internet it must be correct!! NOT! Thousands of people may be found on Ancestry.com, along with family trees. I believe the author's intention is good, but, sometimes incorrect information will be copied. It is your job to try and sort the facts.
Gramps will print many reports from your database. Graphs, kinship, places, and dates are just a few of the many reports available. The one I like is the Narrated Web Site. This beauty will print all your provided information into a nice format for viewing. A family tree will be provided at the bottom of an individual's page. This tree can show up to 5 generations and clicking on anyone in the tree will reveal up to 5 more generations. This Narrated Web Site may be uploaded to your server or you may burn the data to a CD and pass it to your relatives.
Discovering your ancestors is addicting. I have discovered relatives who fought in the Civil War and others who participated in the Revolutionary War. With some effort, you will be able to discover this much and more! Want to learn more? Go to http://gramps-project.org/.