04 July 2012

Find The Best

I received an e-mail from Kyle McWhirter, an intern at Find The Best, drawing my attention to a new Surname/Family Name comparisons that allows the user to sort surnames based on popularity, rank, total in US, demographic, and more. There are over 125,000 surnames listed and the information is from the U.S. Social Security Department.

I e-mailed him back to let him know that most of the readers of this blog would not be particularly interested in such US demographic data, but to please let me know when Canadian or British data is incorporated.

He then drew my attention to other databases which look more pertinent:

The way Find the Best works is they take what they consider to be sources which are unbiased and data-driven to rank a variety of products and services, and allow you to filter the list depending on your own criteria. For example, if looking at genealogy software you might only want to see programs for Windows.

In recent genealogy software evaluations I've seen Legacy 7.5 Deluxe, Roots Magic 5, and Family Tree Maker 2012 for Windows have been competing for the first three spots. Interestingly Brother's Keeper 6.5 for Windows takes second place in this evaluation. Family Tree Maker comes way down the list. CNET, gensoftreviews.com, mymac.com and Family Tree Magazine, are listed as the data sources. Some software is evaluated by more sources than others and how the combined, Smart rating, is developed is elusive.

There are also local factors. It's helpful to have a local user base which you can tap for advice. On that basis Family Tree Maker and The Master Genealogist would certainly rate higher in Ottawa than on this list.

The review of genealogy databases places Ancestry at the top of the list, a list which does not include Find My Past!

Findthebest.com may be a website you want to keep in mind the next time you're comparison shopping online.


Salli said...

Always enjoy your blog as I do Canadian research,however, I was surprised at your comment to Kyle McWhirter about US surnames. Both my mother and father-in-law's families are from the USA so I'm always looking for help with my US research. Not sure why you felt Canadians would not be interested!


Judy Webster said...

I received that email too. It seems to have been very widely distributed.