Vertical Horizon – MyBlood review

Windows lineage-linked family tree database software
Photo of Vertical Horizon – MyBlood
€59.95

Published by Antwerp-based Vertical Horizon, and a brand-new entrant in a crowded market, MyBlood is index-linked genealogy software available in Windows and Mac editions. You get it by download from www.myblood-line.com and there’s a time-limited version you can try before buying.

The default screen is People, showing a selected person and spouse, their parents and any children, in a family view familiar to users of Generations, Legacy, or the old Family Tree. Without looking crowded it manages to display most of the information you’re likely to need quickly (although strangely the list of events or facts is here called “Kind” instead of, say, “Events”).

Editing screens offer buttons for Medical, Contact, Background, and Other. Each button allows you to select from the same set of events, possibly making it harder later to remember where you put a piece of information. You can build up your family history database manually one person at a time or, if you’ve got one, you can import a GEDCOM file. MyBlood can open more than one file at a time, although it can’t merge them.

Apart from the default screen, there are eight others available from the navigation bar. An icon bar provides quick access to various search options including finding text in image file names; notes; events; and place names. There’s no alphabetical name index listing. You can have multiple marriages and choose one as ‘preferred’; the one that leads to you, perhaps. There is no provision for same-sex unions. A limited number of preference and default options do include a choice of language – English (American), Dutch, French, German – plus a free tool to translate to any language. There’s no spell checker.

The separate Ancestors and Descendants screens each show a life span (here called a timeline, although no events are shown) for each person displayed, plus the relevant chart. Unusually, the lines run from right to left with the charts aligned the same way, meaning that the Descendant’s chart is inconsistent with convention.

A TimeMaps screen plots all the places mentioned in your file on a view from Google maps (you need to be online) to represent the life path of a person and his or her ancestors. There’s a separate tab for Places in which you can get coordinates and display maps, but you must then copy the data to MyBlood manually.

The Media screen displays your media for any selected person or for all people. As well as assigning media to people, you can also assign them to events (and events to media). You can also add identifying tags to people in a group photo.

PDF reports and charts include most of those found in other software, except that there’s no narrative report. MyBlood can also prepare basic pages in HTML, ready for uploading to the web.

Company: Vertical Horizon


Verdict
You wouldn't expect a fully-fledged program from version one and indeed MyBlood is missing a conventional Help file, offering only PDF manuals and video tutorials on its web pages. It's not a program an experienced genealogist would choose to upgrade to, but beginners to computer-assisted genealogy will find it perfectly usable.