Who do I think I am?

I have always been prone to enthusiasm. Indeed I have described my job function as being a “professional enthusiast”, as, after a fashion, that is exactly what marketing is all about. Over the years and from one day to another, the objects of my enthusiasms change. I am sure that those around of me get weary of hearing about whatever has caught my imagination lately and are quite relieved when I move on to something else.

I recent made a posting in which I listed some of my goals for 2012. One of my plans is to progress study of my family history …

I had already made a start on this project – I had a basic family tree constructed and I had attended some classes on using the Internet for genealogy research. The challenge was to build upon this start.

I needed some tools. I had tried various family tree programs on my PC and several of them are very good. My latest favorite is Family Tree Maker 2012. This program is quite good in itself, but I really like the way I can synchronize my family tree with one that I keep online at ancestry.co.uk I have also got a paid-for account with these guys, which means that I can access all kinds of resources from right inside the program.

I also wanted to be able to update my research when I am away from my computer. I have two possibilities. As my tree is online, I can access it from any Web browser, which gives me quite a lot of flexibility. Then synch it back to my PC later. I also have their iPad app, which does a similar job with a very clean and easy to use interface. Unfortunately, the iPad needs to be online – the app does not accumulate data for later synchronization. Hopefully they will fix that.

So far, all I have really done is play with these tools, which have blown me away with the amount of information that I can gather. The highlight of my playing so far is finding another user of ancestry.co.uk who has information in their tree which documents a thread of my family back to the 1200s! The big downer, is, because I was just playing, I cannot find that tree again now. But I will.

Apparently, genealogical research is the second heaviest source of traffic on the Internet and it looks like I will be adding to that load. I will leave you to work out what the #1 traffic source is.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2012/01/26/who-am-i-2/