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Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is probably the most influential lineage
linked database program in the world. To quote BradJackman on LDSTech back in 2008,
" However, I think most genealogists will agree that PAF still holds a
major position in the field, and it's ease of use, simple GUI, and huge
user base make it a force to be reckoned with, not some little
freeware experiment to be swept under the rug." PAF has been considered
a "freeware" program since about 2000 and was never very expensive even
before that time. Its combination of low or no cost and fairly good
utility have made it the program of choice for probably millions of
users, although the actual statistics of use are likely not available.

Further development and upgrades to PAF were essentially abandoned by
its sponsor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acting
through FamilySearch and its predecessors, back in 2002. But as of the
date of this post, it is still available in version as a free
download from the website. In addition, classes on the program are still taught regularly throughout the vast network of Family History Centers
(now also FamilySearch Centers) around the world. There are also
several very active PAF User Groups around the world. For example, see
the Utah Valley PAF Users Group.


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