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I have been using Family Tree Maker for many years and it is easy to enter information and you can print out several types of forms and also make up a book. In entering information just start with you, then your parents and any siblings, your grandparents, great-granparents. Keep going back in time remembering to also record where you received the information from such as your parents, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, family bibles, the census, school records, etc. If there's one thing above all others I would advise it would be to find out any information that the older members of your family might have. An easy and fun way would to use a camcorder. Record them as you have a talk with them, ask them questions, and let them tell stories. Not only will you have the information, but you will have a precious recording of them. I didn't start working on my family history until after my parents and grandparents had passed away so have lost not only them, but any information they had. Also make sure that you have names, dates, places and any other information recorded on any photographs that you might have, it makes it easier as time goes by. There are hundreds of internet sites to find information. If you can do it, get a subscription with Ancestry.com. Also look at the free sites such as the Mormon FamilySearch.org site. Cyndi's List, RootsWeb.com, GeneWeb, USGenWeb Project, and the US Census and great sites also. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you would like.
Have you had trouble installing FamilyTreeMaker? I have really spent tons of hours with cable company, anti-virus company, server and software company to no avail. I have been able to install and the Family Tree Maker people helped me transfer my tree from ancestry to fam tree mkr but I keep getting an error message "Authentication with Server Failed". I can't register the software and get the free version of ancestry.com. Any ideas?