Become a Better Researcher

Our research problems are unique and our genealogy software, to be useful, must be flexible enough to match our respective problems and our respective methods. The Master Genealogist is that software, but power and flexibility has a down side. The more options a program has, the more decisions the user must make. This year, the Tri-Valley TMG User Group will explore those options and make some of those personal decisions. Would you like to play along with us? Do each month's assignment, and if you like, e-mail it to us at: We'll post some of the completed assignments on this blog each month. Let's hear it for choices!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thoughts on Software Mortality

  • We want to make TMG fit our research needs and goals. We don't want to make our research practices fit TMG.
Why do I use The Master Genealogist? Because it's the only genealogy software program I know that doesn't get in my way. I began using TMG in the days before it made its public appearance. I experimented with it; I pushed and pulled it; I broke it - and Bob Velke repaired it and delivered it to my door the next day. Despite my love and loyalty, I knew that TMG wasn't perfect. It couldn't do everything the way I wanted, so my suite of frequently used genealogy software tools expanded over the years to include DeedMapper, Second Site, Word, and Excel, but my TMG coordinated and interacted with all of them. Note that I said, "my TMG." The program I call TMG isn't the same one used by anyone else, and in that statement lies its beauty. TMG is not, never was, and now never will be perfect, but it's still perfect for me. When Bob Velke issued his 29 July statement that TMG would be discontinued at the end of this year, I knew that I would continue to use it - at least until its equal in power and flexibility appears. I won't spend time moving my database to a program that will only get in my way.

The Tri-Valley TMG User Group's number one goal is helping our members become better researchers. I'm sure many of you plan to stay with TMG, at least for the near future, but - stay or transfer to another program - we will all have plans to make. Although I hope to continue our planned program series, I suspect that most members will want to discuss their own concerns, ideas, and plans at our next meeting. Be prepared to answer this question: "What genealogical software feature(s) can I not live without?"

Update: Read Terry Reigel's great article, "The Future for TMG Users."