AncestorNews: GedVisor for Your Palmtop

GedVisor 1.2 is the latest entry in the handheld genealogy game—and by far one of my favorites.

Genealogy software for handheld devices (Palms and Visors) is designed to display the names in your family database, along with pertinent dates, events and notes. The advantages of using a handheld compared to a laptop are size and portability (handhelds weigh about 6 ounces). The disadvantage is the inability to edit data in most handheld genealogy programs.

Although GedVisor does not allow editing on the handheld, it does go beyond the simple name, date and event display. It is the first handheld genealogy program that also displays citation and source details. For example, when I tapped on the birth date for Smith Gregory in 1760 Mecklenburg County, Va., a pop-up box displayed the citation detail of an 1785 Fairfax, Va., census record. A second tap told me the name, address and e-mail address of the gentleman who sent me that information.

The GedVisor database is created by importing a GEDCOM (version 5.5) from your desktop software, after a simple conversion to handheld format. The size it takes up on your handheld is dependent on how much information you include in your GEDCOM export. The number of individuals in your database is limited only by the memory of your handheld.

GedVisor runs on any handheld using the Palm operating system 3.0 or higher. System requirements are a PC running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, NT4 or Windows 2000. The cost is $14.99. Go to the GedVisor Web site at to download a trial version or to order. An excellent and easy-to-follow manual is included.

Hendrickson is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine. She also is a family historian, freelance writer and the author of two astronomy books. Her Web site is at E-mail her at