Charting Companion from Progeny Software

I’ve got to tell you, I love Charting Companion.  I’ve used it for many years now with my PAF software, although it is compatible with virtually every genealogy software program on the market, as well as Family Search.

Recently, the owners updated the software to include a wonderful new feature where appropriate on reports.  They map and color the X chromosome inheritance path.  I did have to upgrade my Charting Companion software, but at $29.95, it certainly won’t break the bank….and it’s worth every penny.

If you’re jumping up and down, doing the happy dance and hollering “WooHoooo,” I certainly understand.  I did the same thing.

This option is available for all charts that have ancestors: Ancestor, Fan, Hourglass and Bowtie.

There are several ways to select charts in this software, but the most comprehensive selection in one place is on the menu bar.

chart companion

Select the type of chart you want to produce.  Click through the various options and select the information you want to include on your chart.

To select the X-chromosome option, the user simply selects “X-chromosome” in the Color option tab:

Ancestor chart options

When finished, click preview to be sure it’s what you want.  Here are a couple examples of my reports with the X chromosome selected.

X with Fan

x fan

This fan chart can’t reasonably be made much larger than this, in terms of generations.  If you need more, shift to the Ancestor chart which can span pages.  I would suggest providing at least 10 generations when sending information to people you match on autosomal DNA tests.  I include 12 generations to at least get every ancestor off of US soil and back into the old country – or as many as I can get off of US soil:)

Ancestor – X Pedigree

x pedigree 1

x pedigree 2

I love these X reports.  When you match someone on the X, you can send them one of these and they can visually see which of your lines are available for X matching.  These, utilized in conjunction with the regular Charting Companion Pedigree Chart report are a powerful combinational tool.

My Favorite Report

I generate a pedigree chart for each “side” of my tree, Moms and my Dad’s.  Often, based on my matches, I immediately know which side the new match is from, so I only send them the relevant information.  If need be, I just send both files.

I’ve been a long time user of this software.  I do have a tree at Ancestry but I hate to refer anyone there.  Conversely, I hate receiving links to Ancestry trees.  I much prefer Rootsweb/WorldConnect.

All trees have some inherent problems.  First, how would a match even begin to know what surname to search for or where to find it on my tree.  Secondly, every time I view someone’s tree, Ancestry does me the favor of forever mailing me after that with their updates and such by attaching their tree to my account.  I hate that.  And yes, I know I can go in and one-by-one, undo Ancestry’s favor, but why should I have to do that?  And I certainly don’t want to make anyone else do that either.  Sending a pedigree chart provides them with only the relevant information without being invasive, problematic or being a “forever” thing with an attached tree.  We’re only looking here, not getting married:)

So, I send a pedigree chart of 12 generations in a pdf file with an index at the end.

If you select 4 generations per page, each item will have the associated location information.  5 generations per page makes the 5th generation default to only date information, meaning they won’t be able to see locations, so don’t do that.

Select the index option to add the index at the end.  This makes it easy for people to skim quickly for surnames that look familiar.

Lastly, when you have your selection in order, you can preview, and then the “publish” button saves this to a file on your system.

Please note that if you include submitter information, it includes everything including your address and phone number in the lower left hand corner.  I do not include that information in the pdf file I send to matches.  I wish the software had a submitter name/e-mail only option.  That’s it though, my only suggestion for this software.  I love it!

pedigree chart

Chart above, index below.

pedigree index



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31 thoughts on “Charting Companion from Progeny Software

  1. Received two emails today: one from you about Charting Companion and another from FTDNA about Myheritage.

    Are you all just an offshoot of Microsoft as no other platforms seem to exist?

    Ian Cooper

    From: DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy Reply-To: DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2014 15:25:57 +0000 To: MACBOOK PRO Subject: [New post] Charting Companion from Progeny Software robertajestes posted: “Ive got to tell you, I love Charting Companion. Ive used it for many years now with my PAF software, although it is compatible with virtually every genealogy software problem on the market, as well as Family Search. Recently, the owners updated the “

  2. Aleda would be so pleased with today’s topic. I love this software too, My cousin and I used this product to do various ancestry charts for Christmas presents. The ancestry charts can showcase all your direct lines at a glance. We put pictures on ours and personalized them for different sides of our family. I also had mine laminated so that when my family took them home they would not wrinkle -plus the ones I shipped around the nation to family did well too, They just rolled right out of those mailing tubes without a wrinkle. The sizes I ordered were 24×36 so that they would just fit a frame for a poster – available really cheap at Wal-Mart and other stores. With printing, laminating, and mailing I only had about $24 in each chart so that was an awesome price in my opinion, If anyone is interested I will be happy to tell you where we ordered the charts – and got them in just a few days. Plus I really didn’t understand how the X Chromosome worked until I saw the colored pink and blue places with my own ancestors on them. Thanks Roberta for posting his and for explaining the X Chromosome to start with. You rock!

  3. I got this from someone fromTurkey that had some of the same chromosomes as I.  Have you ever heard this before? Can get you that book name if you are interested. BTW, I also have ancestors from Claiborne County, Tennessee Patricia B. McCarl   “This book below inquires into the Turkish roots of Meluncans and argues that Abraham Lincoln was also a Meluncan.

    Meluncan is definitely a Turkish word. Melun in Turkish means Damned. Can (prounced jon) in Turkish means Life, hence meluncan means damned lives.’

  4. It sounds very interesting and useful, but I don’t even have genealogy program! I suppose I should have one by now. I’ve spent so many hours exploring on Ancestry and 23andMe, and just have my trees on those sites. So what is a good genetic genealogy program? Something that would keep track of the matches that I’ve been able to identify the most recent common ancestor. And map my chromosomes so I can triangulate other matches. And a dynamic map that would show the movement of my ancestors through the years! And when I’m looking at my pedigree chart, I’d like the background image to be the map of the place these people live. I’d like an option on my pedigree chart to identify how the couples that married were related. (Lots of intermarriages in Cajun/Acadian families.) So…which program does that?

    BTW, I was sent a link the other day that you might be interested in. I see the Bornstra names on your Pedigree Chart Index. I’m assuming that it is a connection you have related to the Michael Forest (de Forest/de Foret/Foret) line. Check this out: I’d be curious to hear your ideas on it.

  5. You say it works with all genealogy programs…. Exactly what type of programs do you mean? Family Tree Maker? Also, is it “Windows Only” friendly? I am a Mac user and I have found that many genealogy programs don’t work on the Macs (which is a real shame). This software sounds like something I would benefit from having…but only if I knew for sure it would work on my iMac.

    • There is a list on their webpage and a link in the article. There was a discussion on the ISOGG Facebook list about utilizing this on a MAC. I don’t use one, but apparently people install a PC compatible operating system so the MAC can run PC software. I believe that info is on their webpage also.

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  8. I need this! I used to use the free PAF software for years (free is good, right?). Then I got a free disk for basic Family Tree Builder software in a genealogy magazine. It had some extra capabilties (it seemed), so I switched over. But its report printing feature, IMO at least, totally stinks. Whenever I try to print a tree, I end up with tiny little entries and huge areas of blank space on the page. I think maybe this would fix it!

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  11. Thanks Roberta. I have found the fan chart and I love it, but I am a little confused why the colouring stops at the far left. On your chart above, shouldn’t William George Estes be blue and his mother be Pink, then the pink follow her X line?

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  13. Just bought Charting Companion while upgrading Family Tree Maker and I cannot get it to operate, It is totally blank no matter how often I try to link the files to it.
    This is not for me. If I have to spend hours constantly trying to up load information then to me it is not worth the money or bother.

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  15. Charting Companion has just added the ability to make X chromosome charts for descendants of a male or female ancestor. I asked them about this and two days later they had added this function, which I thought was amazing customer service. I think this ability will be very helpful in determining which testers might share an X chromosome with another person or to decide who you might want to test to learn more about an ancestor.

  16. I also purchased Charting Companion with my upgrade of Family Tree but I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to load the DNA in. Seems to be a useless program other than charts you can basically do with Family Tree. Very disappointed it in.

  17. Hello!
    Tell me, is there such a tool that allows you to build trees and look for in these trees of common ancestors coincidences in chromosome X?
    I mean, so that you can look for coincidences only on the X chromosome transmission lines.
    The automatic tool that studies such coincidences could significantly simplify the search.

      • Yes, I know that DnaPainter automatically marks the X-DNA line on my tree.
        But, as far as I know, DnaPainter does not have automatic search for coincidences on the X-DNA lines of my tree and my matches (as Genetic Affairs makes the automatic search for coincidences on all lines of my tree and the trees of my matches).
        In my first message, I wanted to say that if there was such an automatic tool, it would be very convenient…

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