Rootsmagic 9: Quick Review

Monday, February 27, 2023

Rootsmagic 9 has been released today. I've been a fan for quite a few years, since Bruce Buzbee reached out to me in response to this blog post. Each release brings something new but the last release (Rootsmagic 8) was a rebuild from the ground up. 

Rootsmagic 9 builds onto this new foundation and introduces the following features:

1. Associations: these are new relationships beyond spouse, child, parent. A list of associations is provided plus you can make your own. Examples, friends, neighbours, apprentice, employee, employer. 

2. Colour code sets: currently I have two colours set in my file - a blue for my husband and his ancestors, and a red for mine. Colour codes let you have up to 8 sets of colours - each set can have quite 27 colours. The example provided was war (WWI, WWII, Civil, Revolutionary etc). I'm thinking it could be used to track Countries or Nationalities (Canada, USA, England, Scotland, etc). 

3. New database tools: Rearrange children or spouses for everyone in the file based on dates; Delete multiple people in a group, combining groups, change or removing fact types from everyone, enhanced property list. Note: BACKUP FIRST! These tools are particularly useful for people who have imported a gedcom into your own file in the past and need to do some cleanup.

4. View media from person view without having to select each fact or source citation. This is filterable by fact. This can be really helpful to identify duplicate copies of media. However, there is still no "merge" feature to merge two citation media together. This is one of my pet peeves with Ancestry source sync'ing as you end up with multiple copies.

5. Saved searches: I have been waiting for this for soooo long. I like to set these up and reuse them as task lists. For example, I have a search that looks for people who were alive and living in England during the 1880 census but whose census I haven't found yet:

The searches in Rootsmagic could still use some upgrading and aren't as good as genealogy software I was using in the year 2000 (Bruce please fix this!). I would like to see ability to add more parameters, ability to reorder parameters, and the ability to duplicate the saved search (e.g. I'd like to make a copy of this for 1870 census and just change the dates).

6. Filter tasks: Again another feature I've been waiting for. Tasks needed to be grouped by place, website, microfilms, books and so on. For example, if I am scouring birth records in England - I may as well be looking for *all* of the missing births at the same time. I've typically managed this with creative naming in the past but this is much better.

7. Citation usage: allows you to see all uses of the citation from the citation source and edit from there.

8. Groups: criteria for adding to people to groups. This feature is *powerful*. It allows you to select from the screen list, a saved search, or criteria you set on the fly. After you create the group you can then filter people from the people screen using the group. So if I use this feature with my saved search above, I can then filter people based on their membership of the search group.

A small ask

Upgrading to Rootsmagic 9 from Rootsmagic 8 is 50% off and comes in at $20 USD. Please support the Rootsmagic team by purchasing a copy and even buying the accompanying book. Bruce has spent years building and then rebuilding this software. Genealogy software is "niche" and large online companies like Ancestry are competing with the smaller guys. I want to make sure my file is available locally and I don't have to share *everything* with Ancestry for privacy reasons. Support Rootsmagic - buy your copy here.

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