Mind Maps for Genealogy

Welcome to the website. Ron Arons, a veteran genealogist, speaker, and author, is proud to announce his latest book titled Mind Maps for Genealogy, which can help not only with breaking through genealogical “brick walls” and solving other difficult family history research problems, but also with virtually any problem you can think of. While mind maps have been around for centuries, software programs that help create, grow, and maintain mind maps have been available for only the past decade or so.


Purchase Mind Maps for Genealogy


What does Mind Maps for Genealogy provide?

The book is comprised of several sections:

  • An introduction of mind map general concepts.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to use the two most popular FREE mind maps tools that run on PCs and Macs: FreeMind and XMind.
  • A buyers guide to a good number of the best mind map tools available.
  • Examples of how mind maps can be used for genealogical research, i.e. for research planning, research logging, and data correlation/analysis.
  • Additional examples showing how mind maps complement the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and the FAN (friends and neighbors) Principle. Data from Dr. Thomas Jones and Elizabeth Shown Mills examples have been reworked into mind maps.
If you’ve heard others talk about mind mapping and you’re serious about leveraging its power to help you better understand genealogical problem solving, Mind Maps for Genealogy is a must have handbook to get you started.
- Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy Author and Educator

  see more endorsements 

What is a mind map?

A mind map is a visual outlining tool. In many ways it is similar to outlines you may have created for writing papers in high school English class. Mind maps can be quite simple or very complex depending on your interest and expertise.

What are mind maps used for generally?

Mind maps have historically been used for brainstorming and creative thinking. They have been used for both educating students and in the corporate world.

How can mind maps be used for genealogical research?

Mind Maps for Genealogy clearly demonstrates that mind maps can be used for keeping track of your research, i.e. logging, for generating reports, or for data correlation and analysis. It is this latter use, i.e. data correlation and analysis, where mind maps really show off their power. You can identify holes in your research and determine where you need to go next. Don’t simply take the author’s word for it; (re)read the endorsement for the book above to see what other readers say about how the book helped them.

Explore the Mind Map (click here)

Are mind maps a replacement for standard genealogical programs, spreadsheets, and narratives?

Absolutely not. Mind maps complement these other tools quite well. A key difference between standard genealogical programs and mind maps is that the former works with structured data, i.e. field types that are consistent like names and locations, while mind maps are far superior for working with unstructured data. The same holds true for spreadsheets and tables; these, too, are great for structured data and less so for unstructured data. Narratives are great for unstructured data, but they are difficult to process mentally. By contrast, mind maps can give the same information as a narrative, but in one image. And, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Mind maps use color which helps to differentiate one set of data from another.

On What Devices Can I Create Mind Maps?

Mind maps programs are available to run on PCs, Macs, Linux devices, iPads, iPhones, and Android phones and tablets. Yet other services are available via the Internet so, if your device can access the ‘net, you most likely can use these services as well.

Do I have to pay for mind map software or services?

Only if you want to. There are more than 30 different products and services available with some of the best being absolutely free. If you want to pay for some extra features and functionality, you can select from an array of products more suited to the corporate market.

Does Mind Maps for Genealogy come with software?

No. However, the book provides explicit details for downloading, installing, and using both two of the leading FREE mind mapping tools on your PC or Mac.

Where/How can I purchase Mind Maps for Genealogy?

Click here 😉

Endorsements for Mind Maps for Genealogy:

The book includes several case studies, showing how a researcher can break down brick walls using mind mapping techniques. This the part of the book that made mind mapping real for me.
- Ed Thompson
President of Evidential Software, Makers of Evidentia
I'm visual. I use mind maps to help me visualize connections between people in a community. I draw them to flesh out ideas for my writing. I even draw them to better understand what questions I have about a particular ancestor. This book is a creative and much needed approach to research planning, analyzing and reporting on research.
- Gena Philibert Ortega
Genealogy Blogger and Speaker
The book encourages people to look beyond the obvious genealogical sources and techniques, to look at the big picture, the context that shaped the lives of our ancestors. It encourages us use free-form ways of recording information that better reflect the lives of the people we are researching.
- Dave Obee
Journalist, Author, and Genealogical Researcher
If you’ve heard others talk about mind mapping and you’re serious about leveraging its power to help you better understand genealogical problem solving, Mind Maps for Genealogy is a must have handbook to get you started.
- Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy Author and Educator
I’ve used mind mapping for years for my school work and as a teacher in my own classroom, but I had never thought of using it for genealogy. But using it for genealogy makes perfect sense – it is such an easy, visual way of laying out your research for planning, logging, or brainstorming.
- Elyse Doerflinger
Genealogy Blogger
If you have been wondering about how mind maps could help you with your genealogy research or writing Mind Maps for Genealogy is just the book to help get you started. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new way to display, analyze and correlate research data, or who wants to tap into fresh ideas for family history writing.
- Lisa Alzo
Genealogy Speaker & Author
Author of "Mind Maps: Free Your Mind,” Internet Genealogy Magazine, Oct./Nov. 2012
In 2014 I purchased Ron Arons' book, Mind Maps for Genealogy, which helped me quickly learn how to use the FreeMind software. I had been doing data analysis with spreadsheets, and found the visual tools available in Mind Maps were especially helpful in distinguishing people with a similar name living in the same community. Now that I'm familiar with the software, I'm sure I'll find many more uses.
- Jan Alpert
Former President of the National Genealogical Society, Fellow of NGS