Friday, June 21, 2013

PAF No Longer Provided or Supported by Familysearch

With sadness we are losing access to one of the greatest personal genealogy databases ever created. As of July 15, 2013 PAF will no longer be available to download or install on your computer via the website. Lately it has become increasingly more difficult to find. Along with this announcement is the termination of on June 30, 2013.

For almost thirty years we have enjoyed the functionality of PAF in maintaining personal information, research results and notes for the individuals. Without the bells and whistles of the continually new and improved versions of other commercial products, we have enjoyed the simplicity of PAF. It is easy to follow and teach to those who do not want or need complicated extra features. We knew it would not be around forever and were warned it would not be updated. Things seem to be changing in our genealogy world and it is time to adapt once more.

Now the big decision is what to transition to? With fifty PAF files on my computer I will be looking for a program that is pain free and easy to use with Family Tree at For those files that are for other people it may not be worth the effort to transition, but every once in a while there is a request for information from one of them. By linking directly to the Family Tree there are some great exchange features either available today or in the near future.

For me the choice is between Legacy and Roots Magic, and I have friends who are using one or the other and sometimes both. Maybe going the route of using both is easier. At least that way you have access to the features of both, which do vary according to those who use them.

So many changes with have my brain on overload. How are you adapting to the changes?  Do you have a preference of a personal database? Do you even believe it is important to maintain a personal database on your own computer?

1 comment:

  1. I also lament the loss of PAF. Where I volunteer, it was simple and user-friendly to the new genealogists. It also transfers easily to newer computers from old ones and it is bug free. I knew this day would come and I have used other programs but there is no free one with all that you need that is comparable. Whatever you decide from their list of recommendations at Family Search, they will be expensive to maintain but you will need a desktop software if you are a serious genealogist.