Genbox Family History

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by Thoughtful Creations (William Flight)
A complete genealogy software package. It will help you organize your research, store your data, enter proper source citations, and produce professional-quality charts and reports that you can preview and modify, then print or publish on the web. There has not been a program update since 2007 and the program may now be unsupported.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured • Builds Website
Overall283.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70
20180    No Ratings
20170    No Ratings
Earlier283.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70

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28 Reviews of Genbox Family History     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 21 - 28                   Add Your Review

Genbox Family History Review by baggy,  Oct 3, 2010

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

A fabulously complete genealogy package. Total customization makes just about anything possible. The depth of data storage is staggering. Source recording is the best I have ever seen. Highly recommended.

Biggest Pro: Completeness
Biggest Con: Takes a while to learn how to use it, but well worth learning.

Genbox Family History Review by Swietoslawski,  Dec 30, 2008

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

Good software.

Genbox Family History Review by Peggy B,  Dec 29, 2008

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

As with TMG, GenBox is not for the casual user. The interface is more intuitive than TMG, however. Data entry is actually fun with GenBox. Every individual fact — dates, places, events, notes can be sourced to it’s own reference. Once you get the hang of it, source in the Elizabeth Shown format for source citations can be accomplished, with templates that automatically output correctly. As is true of TMG, you can have witnesses for events — i.e. minister for a marriage, witnesses for court records, etc., allowing you to connect people who may turn out to be related in some way to your family lines. I love this program, but am concerned that it may not be here a few years from now, because the developer does not market this program effectively, which is why you may never have heard of it.

Biggest Pro: Allows for genealogy done to standard.
Biggest Con: This program is not well marketed, documented, or updated regularly

Genbox Family History Review by Larry Grinnell,  Oct 12, 2008

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

I have the er…privilege… of editing and publishing a genealogy of the Grinnell family in book form every ten years or so. I receive a huge GEDCOM file from our genealogy database chairperson, and import it into a genealogy program to create Register-style reports.

As a former technical writer, I really appreciate the concept of using stylesheets to control the format of a publication. In other words, you can globally update a document’s fonts, tabs, margins, etc., with just a few keystrokes. Problem is, each paragraph needs to be identified (tagged) with specific designators. For example, The book title might have “ChapTitle” as the tag. The tag name for the main narrative of an individual might be “Narrative”, while children might be “Children”, etc. When each paragraph is assigned a tag based upon its application (children get the “Children” tag, Generation heads get “ChapTitle”, etc.), it’s a breeze to try out different ideas and see the results in seconds.

I remember when I did the last revision in 1997, I used GenBook ( to create the register files, and then spent the next two months tagging each and every paragraph in a 10 megabyte Word file, which was then imported into Adobe FrameMaker for final page layout and publishing. That was for a 750 page book. The new edition, due sometime next year, will be in the neighborhood of 2,000 pages (we will be covering many female lines), and I really did not want to go through that tagging nightmare again.

Problem is, only a very few genealogy programs support assigning tags to text when generating and exporting an NEHGS, NGS, or other similar type of “Register” report, usually in the RTF or DOC format. Even more, some of the programs that do support the use of tags do some rather odd (non-standard) things with the narrative text.

Genbox 3.7.1, after an arduous process of setting up the formatting for a Register report, generates excellent, formatted RTF (rich text format) text files which can easily be imported into any number of wordprocessing programs (Word, WordPerfect, etc.) and page layout programs (PageMaker, InDesign, Quark XPress, FrameMaker, etc.). An added bonus is that Genbox inserts index markers for every individual, and if configured to do so, every place name, so that you can create an accurate and detailed index for your book automatically.

Like I said, the process of setting up the Register Report options in Genbox is not easy, but the end results are great. My database was huge (around 30,000 names and 10,000 families), and it took nearly 6 hours to compile the final report on a MacBook Pro running Windows XP Pro through VMWare Fusion. Time consuming? Yes, but the finished goods were worth the difficulty and time expended.

Biggest Pro: Superior reports–even if you do not use this program as an editor, the reports are worth the price of admission.
Biggest Con: Great reports often mean great complexity–very much so in this case. Also, compiling reports from large databases was a lengthy process.

Genbox Family History Review by MZ,  Sep 26, 2008

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

A well written program that is easy to use and still robust enough to allow for sourcing of material. When I was exploring genealogy programs, this one was hands down the best at easy sourcing, adding/printing multiple pictures and many chart options. I have been very pleased with it and been a customer for many years. Plus the price doesn’t break the bank.

Biggest Pro: Ease of adding sources and adding multiple pictures, chart/book output

Genbox Family History Review by GGP,  Sep 26, 2008

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

Before settling on Genbox Family History, I agonized for a long time over the choice between it and The Master Genealogist (TMG). Both programs are virtually limitless in their versatility and power. Both facilitate the construction of thoroughly documented and carefully reasoned genealogies. Both facilitate the coordination of diverse data objects.

TMG has accumulated its power and versatility through a long history of very thoughtful additions and enhancements. Whatever rough edges TMG once had were worn off long ago through this process of ongoing improvement in response to the suggestions of a large community of users, many of them professional genealogists. On the other hand, committing to TMG is more like committing to a large family of companion products and utilities, not simply to a single program.

In comparison, Genbox Family History benefits from an underlying information architecture that is exceptionally general and elegant. This generality and elegance of Genbox’s under-the-hood fundamentals give it remarkable versatility without need for supplemental tools. They give Genbox the potential for easy expansion and refinement. Despite that potential, however, revisions to Genbox have been less frequent than I’d hoped. Perhaps with better marketing, Genbox would generate enough revenue to support a quickening of updates. The current version (Version 3.7.1) was released more than ten months ago (November 17, 2007). On the other hand, a Genbox user who has studied its powerful syntax can usually force the current version to do whatever he or she wants.

In my opinion, neither Genbox nor TMG would be good choices for newcomers to genealogy. Both programs incorporate the accumulated wisdom of professional genealogical researchers, who seek to rigorously document their sources and explain less-than-obvious logical inferences. For people who aspire to this, both programs are wonderful tools.

Biggest Pro: It is built from the ground up with generality and versatility in mind.
Biggest Con: Too many connoisseurs are too heavily invested in the TMG family to switch to Genbox.

Genbox Family History Review by effi,  Sep 26, 2008

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

Excellent software.

Biggest Pro: All possibilities to construct names and include variations

Genbox Family History Review by oops,  Sep 26, 2008

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

Good program

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