Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are the questions we're asked most often by prospective customers. If you're an existing customer, click here for our support page, which has an FAQ tailored for someone who already owns/uses GenSmarts.
What's unique about GenSmarts?
GenSmarts is all about helping you uncover your family history (traditional genealogy software is focused on providing you tools to document what you discover). When you use GenSmarts, you do very little typing - you're reviewing GenSmarts suggestions and a simple mouse click will engage GenSmarts to perform lookups for you and present results. GenSmarts doesn't replace your traditional genealogy software (e.g. PAF, Family Tree Maker, etc.), but works alongside it by reading and analyzing the data you've already collected.
What does GenSmarts do?
GenSmarts develops a profile of your ancestors based on where and when they lived. This profile is then matched with GenSmarts inventory of known records to make predictions about the record trail your ancestors may have left behind. These predictions are then prioritized to highlight data that you're missing. The logic behind each suggestion is fully explained. For suggestions that can be researched online, at your direction, GenSmarts will navigate your internet browser for you, typing in your ancestors name and even pressing the SEARCH button for you!
Is there a subscription involved to use GenSmarts?
No, it's traditional software pricing - you pay once to buy the software, and then use it for as long as you like with no additional costs.
Do I have to be online to use GenSmarts?
No, GenSmarts works fine if you're not connected. Obviously if you want GenSmarts to navigate your internet browser for you, you'll need to be online for that feature.
Do I have to subscribe to Ancestry.com or other pay sites to make use of GenSmarts?
Absolutely not. GenSmarts has many more free sites in its inventory than pay sites. You can configure GenSmarts to know what you have access to (the default is free sites only) and what you don't, then each is clearly marked red or green to indicate your ability to access them. If you don't want to see any suggestions you can’t access, you can simply turn on a filter so they’re not displayed. Many users who don't subscribe to pay sites use GenSmarts to print lists of things they want from pay sites, and then do their research at a local library or Family History Center where they have access.
Are updates free?
Yes, all updates to the version you purchase are free. So if you purchase Version 1.0 and we came out with Version 1.5, that would be a free upgrade. We reserve the right to charge a nominal upgrade fee for major version upgrades. For example, there may be a small charge to go from Version 1.5 to Version 2.0. We have no plans to require upgrades - if, for example, you have Version 1.5 and decide not to upgrade to Version 2.0, that's ok - we still plan on supporting older versions. It's also our plan to share our records inventory across versions, so older versions will continue to expand their coverage and make additional suggestions.
What countries does GenSmarts support?
GenSmarts comes with a known records inventory that supports research for the USA, Canada, and the UK. There is also a little content for Australia. You can add your own known records inventory definitions for any country.
What genealogy software does GenSmarts work with?
The full edition of GenSmarts Version 2 now includes support for:
- RootsMagic (including RootsMagic 7)
- Family Tree Maker (including FTM 14)
- PAF 5
- The Master Genealogist
- Legacy (including Legacy V8)
- Ancestral Quest
- Ancestry Family Tree
- Brother's Keeper (Version 6)
- Ultimate Family Tree
- Family Trees Quick and Easy
- Heritage Family Tree Deluxe
Can I buy just one copy and install it on both my laptop, my desktop? How about installing a copy at my vacation home?
Yes. The license allows you to use the software on any number of computers. It doesn't allow others to use it on those computers, however, so the computers you install it on would need to be under your control. Family members living in the same house as you are also allowed to use your GenSmarts.
Is it easy to use?
The basic features of GenSmarts are very easy to use - simply click on a suggestion, read the analysis on the idea that GenSmarts presents to you, and, if the suggestion is available online, simply click to have GenSmarts perform the record lookup for you.
Do I have to convert or migrate my data to use GenSmarts?
No, GenSmarts reads all the popular genealogy software file formats directly.
If I discover something with GenSmarts, how do I change my data?
GenSmarts doesn't change the way you record what you find - you use PAF, Family Tree Maker, etc. to record your discoveries. GenSmarts will factor your new information in the next time you run it.
Are there any privacy issues with GenSmarts?
Your data never leaves your PC, so there are not privacy issues with GenSmarts. None of your data is uploaded to the internet.
What version of windows does GenSmarts require?
GenSmarts will work on all common versions Windows - 98, 98SE, NT, 2000, xP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10.
How big or fast a computer does GenSmarts require?
The requirements for GenSmarts are pretty low - 130Mhz or better Pentium II, 32MB or more of memory, and free hard disk space of at least 50mb. More physical memory would be needed for larger files (say 10,000 or more people).
Will GenSmarts work on my Mac?
No - Windows only. VirtualPC's windows emulation of 2000 and XP is also not sufficient to run GenSmarts, however other MAC emulators have been reported to work ok, though.
Is there a manual?
Yes, though most users have told us they prefer the video demo and video faq. The manual is in electronic format, although it's easily printed. You'll find it on your CD or you can download it here.
Is GenSmarts easy to install and uninstall?
Yes, it's a very simple process and there are no modifications to Windows system files.
What's the difference between the trial version and the paid version?
The trial version is missing a few key features (things like printing), supports only a few "uses" of the AVAILABLE ONLINE button, withholds about 15% of the most interesting suggestions, contains a much smaller inventory of known records and is typically a couple of versions out of date. The trial may also expire (become unusable) after a certain number of days - see the trial software itself for the specific limiations.
What data from my file does GenSmarts use?
Aside from the obvious name and family relationship info, GenSmarts looks at the birth, death, census, marriage, and other events of an individual.
Does GenSmarts recommend things I've already recorded?
While it's easy to determine a suggestion that would result in data you don't have... it's hard to be certain from the data in your file if you've already recorded from a source we're suggesting. So we provide all the ideas we have for your reference. Any "duplicates" however, will be "lower priority" suggestions since they won't be supplying any "missing information" in your file. You can always screen them out of the display by turning on the "fills missing data" filter.