Pre-Release Notice

Origins is currently a work in progress. Details presented on the website are based on our current expectations, but are subject to change. For further information, please see our Pre-Release Information page.

We Know You Don't Care About How Your Software Works

(...and why should you?)

While we could tell you all about all of the wonderful features offered by our software and how we make it all work so well, all you should really care about is

How does Origins make it easier to do my genealogy?

Here are some of the problems our competition suffers from which we can help you avoid:

We’ve all been there. In other genealogy applications, it seems like we’re spending too much time trying to change what we’re doing to match our software’s capabilities. Or we end up doing things manually that the software really could do for us. It would be nice if our genealogy software did more than just let us enter all of that family information and then just spit it back to us.
Welcome to the new world of genealogy, brought to you by Origins.

  • Smart Fields
    Data entry is fast and easy when each field knows what type of information you’re giving it and helps you get it entered and formatted properly without having to remember all of those pesky rules yourself.
  • Research Tracker
    All of your activity in Origins can be automatically captured and recorded so you always know what you were working on last, or when the last time you researched a particular person was
  • Speech Enabled
    Transcribe records, navigate within Origins and query your tree for details, all by just speaking.
  • Data Rules help prevent invalid information.
  • Adaptable Hints & Guides
    Learn all of the ins & outs of Origins works without buying and studying a separate book or watching hours of online videos. Plus, if you’re new to genealogy, learn how to research family history records without having to hire a professional. Are you already an experienced genealogist? Turn off all or some of the hints and guides entirely.
  • Tagging
    Group people and documents together based on common data, or any criteria you decide.
  • Shared Data
    Enter facts and sources once and reference them as many times as you need.  Attach them to any person, event, or location.
  • Source and Citation Management
    Easily enter sources and citations following genealogical standards.  Origins can even help you enter this information and get it right.

We’re all afraid of the nightmare scenario – a hard drive crashes and we lose all of our family research. But what about the close, but not so nightmarish ones – we accidentally delete a person, source, file or whole branch of our tree. Or we update a record only to realize later that it was the wrong information. Maybe the reason we don’t share our tree with family members is because we’re afraid they might change something incorrectly. Origins can help!  We can protect your data, and more:

  • Automatic backups
    Origins will backup your data and media files to a local or cloud drive automatically.  You control the frequency and how many backups to keep.
  • Fact-level versioning
    Every change is recorded so you always know when and why it was made.
  • Recycle Bin
    Quickly and easily recover  accidentally deleted data.
  • What-If…
    Explore scenarios without worrying about how to recover if it turns out to be a dead-end. Origins lets you explore changes to your tree like:

    • adding possible new family connections
    • changing facts on current tree members
    • removing members that may not be a part of the family after all

    without corrupting your original tree. If the changes prove to be incorrect, you can easily rollback if it doesn’t work out as you had hoped.

DNA is the new frontier of genealogy research but too many applications treat it as an afterthought. Origins can help you learn how to incorporate DNA data into your research correctly and safely, how to work with the data to expand your tree and help you manage all of the raw data this new research avenue can bring your way.

  • Chromosome Browser
    Dig deep into your DNA to get the details on shared segments and identify the strength of a possible match
  • Managing DNA Matches
    DNA can be an incredible source of new relative information, but it can also be a bottomless pit of false leads and dead ends. Origins can help you manage all of the potential matches without burdening your tree with invalid data
  • DNA Learning Center
    DNA is confusing.  Most genealogists don’t have a college degree in genetics so the information is often overwhelming.  We have created a wealth of information to help you learn what you need to know to make proper use of this new and exciting aspect of genealogy.
  • DNA-Based Research Hints
    Using the information you have recorded about your or a family member’s DNA, Origins can help identify potential research paths.  Whether it’s strengthening existing connections in your tree or creating new connections to DNA matches stored in Ghost Trees, Origins does the grunt work to sift through all of the data and present you with possible areas to explore.

Genealogy. Family History. Call it what you will, it’s all about family.  So why is it so hard to work with other family members to achieve your common goal?  Too many genealogy programs stop at either no collaboration, or just letting you share a read-only copy.  Why?  Why not let you decide how you want to share the work and the rewards?

Origins does just that.

  • Share Your Tree
    As the tree owner, you decide if you want to share and with whom. Share the whole tree or share just certain branches. It’s up to you.
  • Control Access
    Designate others as readers, editors or co-owners.
  • Approve Changes
    Maintain your tree by approving or rejecting changes made by editors you’ve shared with.
  • Track Changes
    See when and by whom every change was made (including any notes they’ve added about the change).
  • Communicate
    Email or chat about work in progress, new finds, brick-walls, whatever, and have it all recorded for later reference.

All within Origins!  Learn More

Fundamental Tree and Data Management is a given.  It is the minimum bar for entry into the world of genealogy software. If we didn’t do this right, there would be no reason for us to exist.
But genealogists need so much more from their software than just this. To meet that need, they cobble together myriad tools to create something that kind of works, but is a little rough around the edges and a little fragile. It requires a fair amount of handholding and work to keep it all together, but it allows them to get their research done.

Origins can help by including much more functionality than just the basics.

  • Research Management / Virtual Binders
    Far too many family researchers are forced to use some other program to manage their research.  Evernote, OneNote, Excel and others are all used to keep track of research, manage notes, manage images and other media, and handle other tasks and information.  Origins integrates all of this functionality into one application allowing you to keep all of the information in one place, avoid retyping or copying and pasting, avoid having to jump from application to application when looking for some resource or piece of data you just know you have somewhere.
  • Origins Inbox
    Sometimes in your research you’re just in collection mode – grabbing as much as you can as quickly as you can and then sorting it out later. No problem.  Add everything to your Origins Inbox it will all be there waiting for you
  • Research Journal
    Origins can automatically track your research activities and store them in your Research Journal. If you need to look back at a path of research, simply review the journal to see how you located a particular source or when the last time was that you researched a particular ancestor.
  • To-Do List
    Keep track of research to be done in the integrated To-Do List

The art and science of User Experience Design, combined with the fanatical attention to design details coming out of major software companies, has driven user’s expectations for what a well-designed application looks like.  New approaches to application design have been proven to improve the user experience.

  • Modern Interface
    Most genealogy programs look like they haven’t changed their user interface in at least 10 years.  Sorry, things have gotten much better in that time.  We build our applications with an eye towards the latest, well-tested, proven design standards. We test and re-test to make sure everything is just right before we ever ship it.
  • Clean, Uncluttered Screens
    Human beings can only absorb so much information at one time.  So why do so many of our competitors jam information onto the screen?  We take the time to understand the information and what’s important to display together, and do so in a way that is visually appealing while still meeting the needs of genealogists.
  • Well Thought Out Screen Flows
    Simplicity is key for a good process flow (such as entering or editing person information).  So why do other applications make things unnecessarily complicated?  (I’m in the “edit person” screen, but I can’t go look at another piece of information without closing the edit person pop-up?  Really?)  We spend the time to make the processes in our application simple, yet powerful.  Clean, but feature-rich.
  • Overuse of Gratuitous Eye-Candy
    Sometimes the developers of an application add a new, fancy visualization, or other presentation element for no other reason than it looks cool.  They totally disregard the fact that the users might not like it, that it may slow down the application, or that it provides no real value.  It just feeds their inner-geek.  At Heirloom Software, we ensure that everything that shows up on our screens serves a purpose other than oh, doesn’t that look neat.

At Heirloom Software, we pay close attention to our user interface.  Every element is scrutinized to ensure it is the best possible way to present some information or functionality.  And we don’t just make that decision in a vacuum.  We conduct user tests and actively solicit feedback from all of our users to make sure we are always delivering the very best looking, easiest, most-functional application we can.