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Looking for a current version of the Ancestry Geology program that is fully compatible with Windows 7 64-bit.

Posted on 2011-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Looking for a current version of the Ancestry Geology program that is fully compatible with Windows 7 64-bit.

A user who I am supporting is currently running the Ancestry Geology program for Windows 3.11 on a Windows XP computer.

We are looking for the newest version of the program which will be able to run on Windows 7 64 bit OS.

Please post the URL address of where I can purchase this program from that will be fully compatible with and run without any problems on Windows 7 64 bit OS.

We have already tried to install the current Windows 3.11 version of this Ancestry Geology program on the Windows 7 64 bit OS, but have been unable to do so (even if we run the program in compatibility mode for earlier operating systems.

Also, we have been unable to install and run this program in Windows XP mode.

Please post the URL address of where I can purchase this program from that will be fully compatible with and run without any problems on Windows 7 64 bit OS.
Question by:Knowledgeable
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 36514539
Um, do you perhaps mean "genealogy"?
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36515418
i don''t se e why it should not be compatible with 64 bit; most 32 bit can run on it :  http://www.familytreemaker.com/Product

this can help    http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=4436

Author Comment

ID: 36516301
It is a 16 bit program.
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Author Comment

ID: 36516302
Yes, I mean "genealogy".

Sorry for the typo,
LVL 29

Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 200 total points
ID: 36516515
This program is generally in stock at Office Depot, Office Max and Staples.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 36516566
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 1600 total points
ID: 36516719
Hi Knowledgeable

Your client will probably get more functionality and searcheable resources by signing up to a reputable online company these days than with an old 16-bit genealogy programs.  For example:

You can there begin creating one or more family trees and can Download Your Tree at any time to your computer in the standard "GedCom" file format (Genealogical Data Communications) with a *.GED file extension.  That format is pretty universal and importable into practically every other site (that allows this) and just about every installed genealogy software you will find.

Without paying anything at Ancestry.com you do get a lot of functionality, but there are some areas such as actually seeing and being able to save scanned copies of hardcopy birth/death/marriage certificates.   You can choose to have your family tree made public or left private in Ancestry.com

I have not used the function, but you can UPload an existing GedCom file TO Ancestry.com.

The Help pages on the site are definitely worth checking out to get an idea of what is available.

The only thing that is really absent from the site is the ability to print out some really good charts as you see on large parchment paper hanging on the walls of some old castle.  The site does allow you to see trees in "Printer Friendly Format" and print out what you are seeing, but it's not really like that "old time" tree you may expect.  It's probably a whole lot better than a DOS-based program though.  The site makes money by referrals to a company that publishes books with family trees generated on the site, so it's not in their best interests to provide a full publication and print function for free on their site.

It appears that Ancestry.com either wrote, or market under some affiliate basis, the software named "Family Tree Maker", and quite a few of the help files about importing and exporting your records refer to this application.  I have not used it, so I cannot suggest it, but if you were to search google for "genealogy software reviews" you should be able to narrow down the commonly occurring titles and weigh up usability with features.

There are also a number of other very well featured genalogy sites that allow you to create and publish trees online.  I have only watched Ancestry.com being used, so that is all I can speak for in this regard.

The real home of "genealogy" as more than just a pastime is obviously the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon).  Apart from the daily faith and religious observance, genealogy forms a huge part of what amounts to a culture rather than simply a religious denomination.

As such, you would expect their worldwide website to contain genealogy resources, and it does:
Older one (possibly will be deprecated in time):
Updated one:

They have their own software named "Personal Ancestral File" (PAF)
On this page you also have a list of software on the left of the page that will tell you (when clicked on) whether the files generated by them are importable into PAF.  It doesn't show any software named "Ancestry", but it would be easy enough to install PAF and see.

I should point out that the PAF program is rather dated in terms of appearance, but is perfectly functional.  

To enhance chart printing options from your PAF records they provide the "PAF Companion Basic" (free and prints up to 3 generations) or "PAF Companion" which you pay a very modest sum for.
You will see some screenshots of the PAF and the printing companion here:

Trying to find and download these from the main page of the "old" site prompts for registration, and I can't find it on the "new" version of the site, but hidden away behind the scenes here is the page of links:

Now, the old "Ancestry" genealogy program your client used may or may not output GedCom files that are fully compatible with all up-to-date programs, or Ancestry.com.  As far as I understand there have been updates to the standard GedCom file specification, especially where modern software allows for additional field records that were not available back when this DOS program was written.  I can see that there was a GedCom Version 5.5 specification dating back to 1995, and a newer GedCom Version 6 XML Specification dated 2002.  I have copies of PDF files from the "Mormon" site detailing both if needed.


A while back I found some "Gedcom Viewer" programs that would (or should) allow anyone to view records generated and downloaded from an online repository like Ancestry.com and test their integrity.  There were hundreds of them listed in download sites, but I downloaded and tested out one with a GedCom file from my father's Ancestry.com tree.


You will notice that the full GENviewer is $20.  I tested out the free GENviewer Lite that doesn't support printing, and the free CD-Rom edition that you burn to CD with your GedCom file for mailing to people.

In this respect you aren't toally stuck if you choose to use an online creation site, as long as it allows for downloading your records as GedCom files and the "viewer" supports the format.

Do you have any further details of the software that your client uises other than a title of "Ancestry"?

Perhaps armed with that we might be able to find out whether it is an older version of the "Ancestry Family Tree" mentioned by Ancestry.com and ascertain if the files are compliant gedCom ones or not.

LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 1600 total points
ID: 36516729
Whoops, my last paragraph was wrong.  The software that Ancestry.com advertises is not "Ancestry Family Tree" but "Family Tree Maker".  Too many "trees" and "ancestors" running around in my head there.  I think it's probably down to you to try and get the actual company name and maybe we can trace the history and find out what software superseded that.

Author Comment

ID: 36517595

Yes I have tried installing it in Windows XP Mode, but that hasn't worked.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 1600 total points
ID: 36518783

I think that instead of messing with an old program like this your client should really be upgrading to an application designed to run in Windows either as a 32-bit application on a 64-bit Win7 system, or a full 64-bit version of the application.  That's what you are asking about really, ie. "can any of us find the current version of the 'Ancestry Genealogy' program."

Without knowing the original company who wrote this program it won't really be possible to track the ownership history of the application to know if they continued with the application, whether it was bought over and assimilated into another, or whether the company even existed past the Windows 9x period.  There are just too many Genealogy applications using the word "ancestry" to be able to thin it down to a logical selection.

All is not lost even if the program never made it past 1995, AS LONG AS it created fully compliant "GedCom" files to import into an alternative new application, and not some whacky proprietory format.  It's entirely possible that some inventive individual may have created a program to convert the proprietory format to a compliant GedCom format IF the program was well enough known, but we would obviously prefer not to have to go wading through old web archives searching for a suitable converter.

So, we really need to know some more details about the Program's full name, the original software creator, the actual version number, and the file types that the software stores its records and allows exporting to.

In the meantime, I compiled some notes with links that your client might wish to peruse IF the program was discontinued and new software has to be installed to replace it.  The main criterion in ANY choice is whether the user's current data records can be imported into the new software.

Note 1:
If testing out Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), I suggest that your client simply creates a profile and does NOT sign up for a "14 day trial > Give Me Access".  I have read some (old) reports where subscribers to the trial complained that their account was automatically debited for the full subscription after the 14 days elapsed, but in balance there are others who refuted this claim and stated that they were prompted but no automatic debit was made.  If they don't have your bank details they couldn't do that, so although there may be some limitations for "free" registrants, I would recommend just registering with the "Get Started" option first to try it out.

Note 2:
If using the Ancestry.com website to create a family tree, they have a Browser Plugin for IE and Firefox known as "Enhanced Image Viewer".
An older article about it.
The "How To Install" article.
According to them it only works with Windows up to XP and in a 32-bit browser, but has been successfully installed on Win7 64-bit by Mark Wilson .

Note 3:
Ancestry.com are just about to release the 2012 version of their "Family Tree Maker":
They will begin shipping at the end of this month, so bear this in mind where you see reviews of "Family Tree Maker 2011".

Reviews of free Genealogy software last updated April 2011

Top Ten Reviews - Genealogy Software
Ancestry.com "Family Tree Maker 2011" comes top for ease of use and features:

Same choice of "Family Tree Maker 2011" here:

Filter hundreds of titles as reviewed by customers:

Not sure how up to date this comparison chart is:

Good resource for comparing Genealogy software:
Comparison chart from September 2010:
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 1600 total points
ID: 36518788
For info of nobus.  Related question being asked about running the current software in a "Virtual" environment:
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 36534319
Thank you Knowledgeable

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