Consanguinity: (kŏn'săng-gwĭn'ĭtē) , relationship by blood, whether linear or collateral.

Primarily concentrating on my Browning family from Harrison County, Ohio (and their subsequent move to Crawford County, Illinois) but I've got Plymell, Crago, Eagleton, Garrard, McConnell, Nichols, Swan, Nevitt, Huls, Markee, Depperman, Papstein/Popstein and Hamilton in there too. And that's just the beginning......

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Kingdom For A Good Genealogy Flowchart Program

I've been occupied lately with some new and exciting developments. A few years ago my father took a yDNA test for me and I tucked the results away and didn't disperse them like I should have. Luckily a cousin found me and our mutual excitement convinced me to input them into a Brown Genealogy Society page that I had been invited to but had never pursued. This page also includes Browning information and I'm happy to say it's matched me with a couple of others.

It's a long story but suffice to say I've made a couple of matches in the 7-15 generation category. Although these matches (like me) have one common roadblock, Maryland in the time period 1770's-1790's, that's okay. At least I'm not alone now, and at least it's given me somewhere to focus other than at the tip of my nose! I've missed my cousin Pat since her death in 2009 and I will miss her forever, but I believe I've found another researcher whose enthusiasm and determination remind me of hers. I've really enjoyed that lately.

I've discovered more about my Samuel. I found out he served in two different companies in the War of1812! I've found a land record that somehow I've skipped over all these years, that gives the names of both the companies. I've written to the National Archives and sent for the land case file, hoping beyond hope that a word or two will point me toward Samuel's missing relatives. I'll be sharing all this when I get the chance to pull my head out of my research long enough to take a breath and write.

I'm writing tonight because I've discovered that I'm need of guidance. I have enough clues now to (perhaps) begin to narrow down the possibilites that exist for my Samuel's parentage. I have at least three disparate families that belong to this list of possibilities. I want to be able to have some sort of software program, preferably a FREE one, that can act very much like those whiteboards you see detectives use on TV. You know the ones.....where they draw out a timeline, and list factoids under each person, and there are spaces for additional info, and you can see maps and pictures and other tidbits? I thought about using a regular old genealogy database but really, it doesn't lend itself to this. You have to click through so many connecting people to get to the one you want, for the most part it depends on familial ties that I don't have yet, and you can't see everything in the three dimensions I need. I need to stick clues to each one with virtual thumbtacks. I need to see the big picture here.

Suggestions, anyone?


  1. Have you considered laying out your data on a spreadsheet? Perhaps it will not suit your purpose, but that is what I use many times. If you actually want to use a flow chart, take a look at this free flow chart software: Good luck.

  2. I've been looking for a decent charting programme for some time now, because none of the genealogy programmes have the capability to produce the taylor-made charts that I like to create. I'm sure you know the one I mean, where I want to show the relationship between me, my great-uncle Harry, his wife's parents, and not include every sibling and ancestor in between.

    Last year I took advantage of my status as a student to purchase a cheap copy of Microsoft Visio, which is what I currently use to create charts, although I haven't really got to grips with its full functionality yet. I think I need to do a couple more of the advanced tutorials.

    I had a look at the Dia page which GrannyPam suggested, and looks quite similar to Visio. I agree that it's worth a try. let us know how you fare, and if you find anything else, please.

  3. Patti,

    Although it isn't the exact same thing as a flow chart there is a brainstorming website that I have used. It was helpful to get my train of thought on "paper" before I lost it. It can be found at

    I also checked out the page that GrannyPam suggested and it looks interesting. I might have to try that one out as well.

  4. Patti - Another thought, triggered by Deborah's suggestion of brainstorming, there is a free programme called XMind which was suggested to us when I did my post-grad thesis last year. I didn't use it a lot, but it may suit your needs - perfect for fishbone diagrams and other things.
    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link Vide Demos to see some examples.

  5. I'm sorry if I'm wasting your time but I don't know what WolframAlpha can do. Here it made charts about Greenland - scroll:

    It can do a lot more. Also Gapminder can do different things. One can download the full program:

    Again: Sorry if it's not what you're after...

  6. Thanks to everyone that has taken the time to comment and made recommendations. I think one of those 'brainstorming' websites will be the closest to what I need. I mean to look into them this weekend and see if they really do fit the bill.