Randy Wilson's Genealogy Page

Genealogy program wish list

Genealogy software is handy, but it could be much more powerful. I have compiled a wish list of features I would like to see in genealogy software, as well as a more detailed list that gives reasons for and/or examples of each feature. I would welcome comments on this list, additions to it, or volunteers in starting an open source genealogy software project.

Doing Genealogy 'Once' and 'For All'

Much of the work genealogists currently do has either already been done, or will have to be done again someday. I presented some thoughts on how to use bidirectional source linking to do genealogy 'once' and 'for all' in a presentation at FHT 2002.

I presented a follow-on paper in FHT 2003 about the importance of doing extraction over the internet and tracking verification work that is being done, in a paper entitled Efficient Genealogy through Personal Extraction and Automated Verification.

In order to make the crucial concepts easier to understand, I boiled the most important ideas down into a paper entitled High-Level View of a Source-Centric Genealogical Model: "The Model with Four Boxes", which I presented at FHT 2006.

I also started the Source-Centric Genealogy Blog.

Better Match and Merge

The current merging capability of most genealogy software is severely limiting. You can see informtion on a graph-based merging algorithm that I presented in a paper at FHT 2001.


I wrote a little utility called "ged2ped" that takes a GEDCOM file and produces a text file with an ancestry chart in it (optionally linked to individuals in a group of web pages).

Personal Genealogy Information

My genealogy is now on-line thanks to the ged2html program by Gene Stark.

You can browse my genealogy in html format by starting with:

GEDCOM files

A GEDCOM file of my family is available upon request. Send e-mail inquiries to randy@axon.cs.byu.edu.

Hendricks Family Organization

I am currently the president of the Henry Hendricks Family Organization. Henry Hendricks is one of my ancestors.
The world seems confused enough about the family these days that I thought it would be good to place a copy of the following proclamation here.

The Family:
A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings--male and female--are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives--mothers and fathers--will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Copyright © 1996. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
All rights reserved.

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Please send e-mail to randy@axon.cs.byu.edu