Since the introduction of commercial DNA testing for genealogy in 2000, it has become a popular way to prove or disprove family connections and identify ethnic origins. Thousands of historical maps have been digitized and placed in online collections, and applications combine digitized maps and GPS (global positioning system) technology to superimpose old maps of ancient peoples with modern ones, or plot places where records indicate that your ancestors were. RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree, both Windows genealogy programs, and Reunion, for Mac, have also released mobile apps. When using technology to help family history, enthusiasts often face a challenge that is known by the acronym “PICNIC”; the letters represent the mantra “problem in the chair, not on the computer”.
Human analysis plays a very important role in DNA-based genealogical research, but computers do the heavy lifting of categorizing coincidences, allowing researchers to advance their research more quickly. Standard disclaimers apply, such as indexes are not always correct (regardless of how they were created), and the need for a detailed review of images will always be an important part of accurate genealogical research. According to a statement on genealogy from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, learning about family history is more than a casual task. Genealogy websites can dump text into a database, where you can then search with keywords for the names of the ancestors and other terms.
Genealogists can also take advantage of mobile apps to edit and share photos and videos, view maps and other genealogical tasks. What has been considered traditional genealogy is changing dramatically, and technological advances are helping to make family history work easier and more accessible. Some applications have gone from being simple tree viewers to more powerful tools that allow you to edit your tree and search in genealogical databases. As genetic genealogy companies continue to refine technology, the benefits of DNA testing for research are increasing.
Gone are the days when old family history techniques were used to complete a family tree, as new technology makes genealogy easier. With the right tools and resources at your disposal, you can unlock the secrets of your family tree with ease.