Personal Ancestral File (PAF)

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by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Personal Ancestral File has been available free for many years and has a large following. The LDS stopped offering PAF downloads or support on July 15, 2013. The final version is 5.2.18.0 (2005).

Unsupported • Windows • Full Featured
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/paf/
Overall344.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 5 4.40
201453.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 5 3.97
201364.74 out of 54.74 out of 54.74 out of 54.74 out of 54.74 out of 5 4.74
Earlier234.8 out of 54.8 out of 54.8 out of 54.8 out of 54.8 out of 5 4.80

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34 Reviews of Personal Ancestral File (PAF)     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Jill,  Mar 30, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Have been using PAF for over ten years with no complaints, it was easy and reliable. I have unfortunately been sick recently, and not been updating my files, and have just discovered that all my information on these files, is no longer being supported by the Church of Latter Day Saints. I am devastated, what am I expected to do, all my work and no longer able to access it. I have always backed up my work, but when I put the back up in, it just hangs and if it opens, it still will not allow me to print it out. This is all I want, to be able to print out my generations for future generations. What is the alternative???? Would appreciate an answer to this problem

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Alan Ingham,  Mar 24, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Have used PAF forever, simple, complete, reliable(never, ever crashed). Indeed a shame it is no longer supported, wish someone will somehow “take it over” & continue with upgrades. Don’t miss photos(there were none until ‘recent times’) & the future… maybe videos will not be enough?
Thank you LDS et al.

Biggest Pro: Free & easy
Biggest Con: Zero

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Susan Johnson,  Mar 13, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have consistently been bitterly disappointed by what goes on in the computer world. I found out today that not only is PAF no longer supported, but come July 2014, Windows XP won’t be either, and they suggested that it “may be time to consider a new computer”…. I wrote back and told them how thoughtless they were and how such a lack of respect for people who live on limited incomes is really inconsiderate. I am sure that went on deaf ears!! lol!! IS THERE ANY SAFE PLACE TO DOWNLOAD THIS FOR POSTERITY!?

Biggest Pro: Simple, quick, easy to navigate, auto types place names, everything entered on one window, loved the reports & lists function, etc.
Biggest Con: None, but one minor issue, is not being able to do partial GEDCOM files…

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Robert Weekley,  Feb 15, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Just loved ease and convenience of the program.. Had fun doing ancestry with this form

Biggest Pro: ease and convenience
Biggest Con: couldn’t add pictures

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Don,  Jan 2, 2014

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I happily used PAF for many years. I don’t place heavy demands upon any genealogy program i use.

I tried Roots Magic, while it had excellent reporting capability, I continued to use PAF. As long as PAF does what you want fine. It will be available somewhere on the Internet for a long time and support will be available from user groups.

When you are ready for something more, try GRAMPS or Ancestral Quest. GRAMPS is free also but has a learning curve. I went for Ancestral Quest, there is a basic version for free. The full version is priced reasonably. There is a very small leaning curve seeing how they wrote the PAF that became the version you all (mostly) love. PAF users will feel right at home in Ancestral Quest.

Biggest Pro: Free
Biggest Con: no official support

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Mat,  Oct 15, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

The PAF is great easy to use .I’ve been using the product for many years now to research more family history. Now with the decision to no longer continue maintaining the PAF software to keep it current with the ongoing changes in PC operating system and security software, we are now being forced to look for a replacement.

As we all know that an unsupported product will quickly die and all the years in collecting and storing our personal family information on a PAF, could find us not being able to access this information.

The decision to move the personal family history from our personal computer to an online data base and not allow the option to say in who can see this information is very short sighted.

There is Private family information that I would never make available for the world to see let alone be used. Please bring back support for the PAF if not the past 13 years has been a waste as I can never allow such personal information to be made public.

Biggest Pro: it is very easy to use
Biggest Con: none/

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by EMOC,  Oct 13, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Fantastic - simple, clean, easy, intuitive, great to teach newbies with, uncluttered, powerful in it’s ability to record as much detail as required in terms of sources, notes & pictures ….
Really gutted that support has been discontinued .. surely someone is able to re-release this very eloquent software for use again .. and for Mac.

Biggest Pro: Clean, easy to use and intuitive .. plenty of capacity for as much detail as required.
Biggest Con: Perhaps a more modern ‘marriage’ arrangement; but a workaround is still possible.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Lynda Pill,  Jun 11, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

It is a shame you will no longer be updating this program, I love it and it is easy to use. . Please, reconsider upgrading PAF. Thank you for all you do and have done

Biggest Pro: Easy to use. Have working on Family research for 16 plus years have used nothing that I like better.
Biggest Con: The failure to contine to maintain and keep the product, (PAF), current and updated.with technology. Also, I keep losing my APF5 file when I get a new computer and down load all my info,

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Ann Davies,  Feb 20, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Have done family history since 1954. Installed PAF as soon as it appeared. Have used it ever since for many family trees - never a problem. Absolutely great programme. Thank you.

Biggest Pro: Magic!
Biggest Con: None.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Bob,  Jan 7, 2013

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

PAF is a Great easy to use product with a short learning curve required. You can make it as detailed or complex or as simple as you desire. You get out of it, what you put in. The PAF companion reports are ourstanding.

I’ve been using the product for many years thru its many upgrades and updates, however with the “Corporate” decision to no longer continue maintaining the PAF software, i.e. keeping it current with the ongoing changes in PC operating system and security software, I’m forced to look elswhere for a replacement. An unsupported product quickly dies from the lack of attention. Those who have years of sweat and blood involved in collecting and storing their valuable, critical and CONFIDENTIAL family information on PAF, could find themselfs out on a broken limb with no way off. The PAF database and related backups on your computer could become outdated and unreadable because of technology changes in your computer’s operating system.

The corporate decision to move the family history data computing from the personal computer (PAF) and onto the WEB and use “Cloud” computing, was a wise business decision. BUT to not allow the user /owner /contributer to be able to tightly control who can view “their” information is very short sighted. There are many times where “Private/Confidential” family history information should never be made available for the world to see and use, as would be the case on a web based product with few controls on who can view it’s information (Data Elements). By necessity, this “Confidential Information” will now be kept on scraps of paper or left in someone’s failing memory.

Biggest Pro: Everything, It’s had a long and outstand life.
Biggest Con: The failure to contine to maintain and keep the product current with technology.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Colin,  Jan 7, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Excellent free programme that does exactly what I want for my conventional family research.

In conjunction with PAF Companion makes a great programme for sharing my results with family members. pretty intuitive to use but the interface is now a bit dated as it hasn’t been updated for some time. Most memebers of my Genealogy group use it and I think that is a great recommendation too.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by wilda jeanne brewer,  Dec 10, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have used it for many years and i like the way it prints the forms.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Eric,  Nov 9, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

PAF is simple to learn and easy to use. Works with all windows versions from Win 98 up till now without having to be updated. No bugs. Available in several languages. Has the best Gedcom transfer because it seems to be from the inventor of Gedcom. Works with PAF- Companion und PAF- Insight

Biggest Pro: It´s free and simple to use

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Ron Tibbitts,  Apr 12, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Why is Personal Ancestral File (PAF) the Best Program http://pafbest.blogspot.com. You cannot compare PAF with any other program because PAF is not like any other program. PAF is not alone it is not by it self. Some say PAF they do not update PAF any more that is not true. Every time they update FamilySearch, Ancestral Quest and FamilyInsight PAF is updated. Not only is PAF updated but example if you use the merge option in FamilyInsight it adds that feature or results in Ancestral Quest and even Legacy because Legacy will open and import PAF records including multimedia files. PAF is by far the very best in to many ways to mention http://pafbest.blogspot.com

Biggest Pro: Other programs read PAF data and some even save data back to PAF
Biggest Con: None if PAF has a con you open you PAF data in FamilyInsight, Ancestral Quest, PAF Companion or Legacy.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by DougVL,  Aug 29, 2011

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

PAF does everything I need, and easier than Family Tree Builder, Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, or Legacy. Those seem bloated and confusing, with way too many things on the screen. Not only are their screens complicated and confusing, but all the extra tabs and icons and windows use up screen space I’d rather save for data.

The only thing I wish I could add to PAF is an Everyone chart, and maybe an “All Relatives” chart. Not many programs have that, but I’m interested in who my relatives are/were, not just who my ancestors were. For the Everyone chart, I like GenBox, but will probably evenually buy Family Historian. Both, if I’m really lucky with my budget!

The program is no longer being updated, but that’s fine. Especially for a free one. Retirement on a low budget prohibits buying new upgrades to software anyway.

Biggest Pro: Efficiency
Biggest Con: Lack of an “everyone” or “all relatives” chart.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Carsten Fröhlich,  Jun 14, 2011

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I tried a lot of genealogical software, but this programm is really the best you can get. It has nearly all features you need. Only feature which is missing is the “all-in-one-tree” but all others are build in. And it absolutely for free! Thumbs up for this great software.

Biggest Pro: For free with nearly all features you need.
Biggest Con: I found no real Con.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Carolyn Douglas,  Mar 24, 2011

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Great program and very easy to use

Biggest Pro: Simple to learn
Biggest Con: None

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Bill Buchanan,  Jan 7, 2011

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

This may be the best supported genealogy software ever created. There is toll-free support at 1-866-406-1830, also at support.familysearch.org, as well as online forums on genforum.com and yahoo.com, and 4500+ Family History Centers.

This is the easiest program for data entry that I have found. It remembers the 25 most recently used place names and the order they were used. I also use AncestralQuest, and excellent program but find data entry there a little more awkward. I have used PAF to generate my webpages for the last 10 years.

Biggest Pro: support
Biggest Con: no direct connection the FamilySearch Family Tree

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Bruce,  Sep 21, 2010

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

efficient, simple and uncluttered

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Review by Larry,  Sep 19, 2010

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have used PAF 5.2 for years. Not once has it crashed or caused any loss of data. This reliability is the reason I don’t change to a prettier, newer program.

Biggest Pro: Simple to use. No bugs in program

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