PAF Insight was a new product released in 2004 to help you with your genealogy research. This program is mainly used by members of the LDS church, but I think it's a valuable tool for anyone doing genealogy. PAF Insight's main purpose is to search the International Genealogical Index (IGI). This contains temple ordinance dates for the LDS church. But this is not the only information PAF Insight will find for you. You can find parents, spouses, exact dates, and places of birth and death that you may not have known previously.
For example, many times I find a male from my line in a U.S. Census married with children. I only find out his wife's first name though, since her maiden name is not listed in the Census. I also find out the approximate year she was born and where. By putting this information into my PAF 5.2 file. I can then use PAF Insight to search for her throughout the whole IGI and many times I have found her last name. By having enough other information about her, her husband's name and where and when she was born, you can conclude whether it's the same lady or not using those clues.
Here is an example of a lady named Elizabeth married to an Andrew Jackson Bickel in my file. I found them in several censuses together and estimated they married around 1857 since their first child was born in 1858. This is what I found using PAF Insight.
The information in my PAF file is on the left, and the information found in the IGI is on the right. I found not only the correct month and place of marriage, but I also found Elizabeth's last name! As a genealogist, you know how good it feels to find new information. (The sealing date is for LDS ordinances).
The findings aren't over yet, under the next tab "Parents & Siblings," you discover this...
Her parents! You not only have found more accurate information for Elizabeth...but you have also found 2 new people to add to your file. And PAF Insight enters it automatically into your file when you click a check mark into the box, instead of you wasting time writing it down on paper and then later entering it into your file yourself.
Now, another wonderful thing that PAF Insight does is to find any unconnected people, separate pedigrees, in your file. You may think, like I did, that your file is perfect and that there are no mistakes. But if you take the PAF Insight challenge, you may find out otherwise. This is what I found.
Here are 33 people who are not linked into my main pedigree. This was very surprising to me and I now need to visit each person and try to merge them into my file or find out if they really are related to me at all.
I know some of you may not use the program PAF 5.2, but I highly recommend downloading it for free, just to use PAF Insight. You can download PAF Insight for just $20, or go to a local Family History Center near you to try it out and use it for free.
Also, one last very positive thing about PAF Insight. You can click on all the names in your file and have PAF Insight search through them all night long or all day while you are away from your computer (Just beware of 9 month old babies crawling around and turning off your machine in the morning before you've had a chance to go through everything PAF Insight has found).