Bygones is a computerized genealogical note-keeping system in computer database form, for genealogists with laptop or desktop computers. If you have a laptop or desktop computer available where you do research, you can record your genealogical research notes on your computer as you do your family history research. In addition to the Research database for entering research notes, Bygones also has databases which may be used for related purposes, such as: creating an "index" of the information in your research notes, keeping track of genealogical correspondence and correspondents, creating time lines for your families, creating to do lists of pending research tasks, entering information on sources that are important for your family history research, entering information on the localities you do research in, entering spelling variations and soundex codes for your surnames, and for entering scanned maps, scanned family pictures, and scanned documents.
Bygones does not replace your lineage-linked genealogy program (Legacy, Family Origins, PAF, The Master Genealogist, Generations, Reunion, Ancestral Quest, Brother’s Keeper, Ultimate Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, etc.); rather it is meant to be used in conjunction with your lineage-linked genealogy program. It does replace paper-only genealogical note keeping forms, such as paper research logs and research extracts, correspondence logs, etc. with computer versions of these forms (which can be printed out for your paper files).
In gratitude to the many other members of the genealogical community who have volunteered their time, talents, and resources to further family history research, Bygones is distributed as FREEWARE. Please note, however, that Bygones does not include any technical support. Please look for the answers to your questions in the manual, that can be downloaded from the "Download" section on this web page below, or ask your questions to fellow Bygones users via the Bygones Users Group mailing list, also mentioned below.
To use Bygones, you fill out a research extract in a Bygones Research database on your computer for each search you do. When you are at home, you can print out your research extracts, as well as research logs that Bygones will generate for you from the information in your research extracts. You can then file your research extracts and logs, along with your document photocopies, in your paper genealogical files.
The advantages of keeping your family history research notes in Bygones, as opposed to a paper-only based note-keeping system, are:
1. It offers an efficient method of note keeping. Most people with computers can type quicker than they can write. Plus Bygones can speed up inputting data by giving you some default text in many of the fields of your research extracts. Bygones can also paste citations and information on sources you frequently use into your research extract for you, each time you use that source, so that you do not have to type the same citation and source information again each time you use the source.
2. You can use the find (search) and sort features of Bygones to harness the power of your computer when you are searching, sorting, and analyzing your research notes. This is usually much, much faster than searching and sorting your paper notes. Every single name, locality, and word you type into Bygones is searchable.
3. You can cut and copy information, such as source citations, document extracts, etc. from Bygones into your lineage-linked database program, word processor program, etc., without having to manually retype or rewrite the information. You can also copy information into Bygones from electronic catalogs and sources.
4. You can view and print your research notes in several formats after you have input the information only once. After you have entered information on a search into a research extract in a Bygones Research database, you can view or print that data as a full research extract, in a regular research log, in a chronological (by event date) research log, in a locality-event type research log (grouped by locality and event type, as all Salt Lake County Marriage searches being grouped together, etc.), or to document source labels (address labels with your filing references and source citations) for your photocopies.
5. You can take and create a lot of research notes with you on your research trips with a laptop, without having to lug around large paper files.
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