During my research, I often want to 'rough out' simple multi-generation family trees (based on birth/bap/mar/death/bur) to explore, for example, how a bunch of entries in the parish registers on a single parish over a 150-year period (1700 - 1850 say), might fit together; or more simply, how all the individuals shown in a census household might fit together (and thus trigger me to look for supporting data for an hypothesis).
I could generate the trees by hand, but these aren't easy to rearrange as new data comes in, or when I want to try different configurations. I could use my main genealogy software, but that would be overkill and doesn't support easily trying out new 'shapes' of the tree. (Plus I prefer not to enter data there until I have a very high degree of confidence in it.)
Microsoft Visio (Organisation charts) seems like a hammer to crack a nut. Scapple might be another alternative. I have access to both of those.
However, I'd like to explore more targeted charting alternatives (preferably free). Google throws up a plethora of 'solutions', as does GenSoftReviews but I'd value recommendations from the community here.
- Add individuals with tentative (editable) bap/mar/bur dates, with links to parents spouses and descendants.
- Drag and drop individuals or branches of the tree to alternative positions under other branches
- Visual representation
- Handle trees showing descendants of multiple starting points (until hopefully I can join the various branches together)
Desirable but not essential:
- Warning when date ranges don't make sense (e.g. child bap when mother aged 60)
Does anyone have experience of some software/tool that they'd recommend for this purpose? Or would recommend (with reasoning) staying with the paper-based approach? I'm most used to working with drop-line charts in this way.