This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents and to our ancestors. If you are related to those listed, I hope this gives you a better understanding of their lives. Feel free to comment on anything posted, especially if you have additional or different information. The posts on this page chronicle my
research journey and provide resources and links. Genealogy is divided by parental lineage into Lowe and Bader. You can access these by
category from the menu and side links. Please be aware that this is an on-going project. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

Journey # 7: Free Trials

By week seven I still didn't have a genealogy program and was only doing a free trial with one of the subscription services. I'd chosen FindMyPast as that was a UK-based site and I figured they might take more care in transcriptions and be more familiar with the names. So I spent some time that week researching all the different sites to see if there was one I would be willing to pay money for. To tell the truth, I didn't find one that seemed obvious for my purposes. 

I decided my best bet was to get a free trial to each one in succession over the next few weeks, cancelling before I was billed. This would ensure that I had a chance to explore all the services fully before committing to any one and that I always had a premium service available for research at home. I was still worried about forgetting to cancel and getting billed, so when I signed up for the first one, I chose the single month subscription rate just in case. That way I would only be out one month's fees. 

But a volunteer at the Victoria Genealogy Society offered a very good tip on this. She said she bought disposable credit cards from the gift card rack at the grocery store with low amounts of spending money on them. She used those cards for her free trials so that if one of the services ever billed her, they would run out of money instantly. The idea is sound, so I bought one. There was an activation fee of a few dollars, so you lose money on the card, but it felt safer than having the chance of getting billed by one of the services.

I also didn’t have a genealogy software programme yet. I’d had recommendations, but those were for Windows applications. Since I was using a Mac and had no intention of putting a division on my computer so I could run Windows, I needed a Mac app. 

I found about a dozen Mac genealogy programs and began reading reviews. But I didn’t find one that jumped out at me as being what I wanted. Again, most them offer a free trial, so I chose one at random and downloaded the demo version. Almost immediately I decided it wasn’t what I wanted and moved on. But after a short period I realized that being new to genealogy, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for in an app, so free trials were pointless. 

Then I discovered GRAMPS. This is an open-source application that has a Mac version. Developed by the genealogy community, it is completely free and exports data into the standard genealogy format (GEDCOM). This programme seemed to be the best solution for me at the time. I could add my data and then later, if I decided to purchase a premium application, I could export my work into it.

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