It’s a family affair

Q: I am planning a big family reunion and I want to create a family tree. I know genealogy software exists, but can you point me in the right direction?
–N. Sabir, Atlanta

A: Not only is there affordable software to help you create a powerful family tree presentation, there are shareware programs available on the Web that you can download. Check out Gendesigner at www.gendesigner.com ($29.95) and Famtree at http://members.aol.com/famtreev4 ($20). These programs let you store family data; display a colorful, family tree graphic; and then publish it as a Web page.

Also, one of the more highly rated genealogy programs on the market is Family Ties Deluxe Edition ($49.95). To help you organize that huge family gathering, you can save addresses in the “Family Reunion List” section. A “Scrapbook” feature lets you store photographs, audio files, videos and important family documents-say, the day, time and birthplace of Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Nanna.

You also have your pick of 15 family tree designs, which you can embellish with colored boxes, borders, lines, shading and other style elements. You can create multimedia presentations with the “Professional Slide Show” feature.

Better yet, you can use the Website-building tool to generate a Web page for all the family to access and view in the comfort of their homes. This makes for a nice little family affair on the Net.

You will have to look elsewhere if you need help trying to find any distant cousins or long-lost relatives, or if you want to trace your family history. (See “Know Your Roots,” Verve, October 1999.)

You can find out about other shareware and software programs via Genealogy Software Springboard at www.gensoftsb.com.

Mail your technology-related questions to Cyberwise at black enterprise, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011, or send an e-mail to dingled@blackenterprise.com.

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