Genealogy Blog

29 June 2007

Baedeker's Old Guide Books

The Baedeker's Old Guide Books web site has a collection of old maps that will be an aid to genealogists and local historians. The maps are scanned from various Baedeker Guidebooks which were published before 1939.

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28 June 2007

Family Tree Maker 2008 to be released in August 2007

It seems that Family Tree Maker 2008 is going to be released in August 2007.

Ezitree 9.82

Ezitree 9.82 has been released.

Changes :

• GEDCOM Import, Export and Analysis : now appear in audit log when used to import or export records.
• Name Index : added spouse and parent names to select list for easier identification.

iFamily for Tiger 2.211

iFamily for Tiger 2.211 has been released.

Changes :

• Ancestors and Descendants Diagrams : added a timeline across the top of the window (horizontal mode), added display of “Refer Above” when branches are repeated, e.g. when cousins marry.
• Main Menu : Added menu options for Attach Existing Person as Parent /Spouse /Child.

Channel 4 family history program, Empire’s Children

Channel 4 has launched a new website to let viewers interact with its new family history program, Empire’s Children.

The British Empire expanded from the sixteenth century and by 1921 ruled over a quarter of the Earth’s land and population. By the 1940s, however, the Empire was in rapid decline. Empire’s Children tells the story of the end of the British Empire and the effects of its legacy through revealing the imperial backgrounds of various British celebrities, each a “child of the Empire”.

The Empire’s Children website allows you to view and comment on these Empire stories, as well as watch clips from the show after each episode has aired. You can also explore the historical events that shaped the Empire, enter our competition and trace and tell your own Empire story.

Channel 4 family history program, Empire's Children

Channel 4 has launched a new website to let viewers interact with its new family history program, Empire's Children.

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27 June 2007


GenoPro has been released.

New features :

• Ability to translate (localize) GenoPro in any of the 140 language available.
Free tool for users to modify their HTML report online. This tool is similar as a regular FTP Client and is useful if you need to add additional files to your report, such as pictures, video clips, rename existing files or delete unwanted files.

Personal Historian 1.3

Personal Historian 1.3 has been released.

New Features :

• Change the font styles of each project.
• Export the topic list to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a text file.

Improvements :

• File dialogs are updated under Windows Vista.
• Import text data from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
• User must type “YES” to permanently delete a project.
• Direct on-line error reporting.
• When using the Search for Files feature, if a drive is not ready, it is skipped over.
• Directly opening a backup file now restores the backup to its original file.

Bug Fixes :

• Fixed a registry error that sometimes occurred in Windows Vista.
• Live spell checking would sometimes not start automatically.

Genealogy Software TopTenReviews 2007

Whether you're a weekend genealogist or a professional researcher, selecting the right genealogical software program can make all the difference in how much satisfaction and information you will derive from your research. Accessing, recording and reviewing data should be easy, as well as fun. Below are the criteria TopTenReviews used to evaluate genealogy software.

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25 June 2007

MacFamilyTree 4.4.8

MacFamilyTree 4.4.8 has been released.

Changes :

• Support for dates before christ: MacFamilyTree now interprets dates with the prefix “BC” as dates before christ.
• Pictures and other media are now exported if assigned to a person event when exporting a web site.
• Bug fixed which caused the HTML export to crash while exporting trees with many large pictures.

CBC's Who Do You Think You Are ?

This is a new 13-part series airing this fall on CBC Television. It launches Thursday, October 11 at 7:30pm Thirteen stars are taking part including:

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21 June 2007

Link a document to your online family tree

150 000 records added to the GeneaNet database and about 500 000 if including original images !

Did you know that you could link some documents to your online family tree ? Yours and the other GeneaNet users ones ! How to.

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Simple Family Tree 1.29

Simple Family Tree 1.29 has been released.

Changes :

• Fix a couple of bugs.

Ezitree 9.80

Ezitree 9.80 has been released.

Changes :

• Major changes and improvements.

New software : iScrapbook

iScrapbook is a digital scrapbook tool designed for both novice and professional scrapbookers. It manages the entire scrapbook process from page design to album organization.

Features :

• Includes free Soho Art Pack (40,000+ professional photos/clip art).
• Use background papers to establish a theme.
• Use photo frames to add impact to your images.
• Powerful design and typography tools including shapes, masks, cropping, etc.
• 100+ Super-Masks to create special effects on images and shapes.
• Access iPhoto albums and photos directly from the built-in photo browser.

20 June 2007

PhpGedView 4.1 beta 6

PhpGedView 4.1 beta 6 has been released.

No information available.

The GenealogyPays Trivia Puzzle

The GenealogyPays Trivia Puzzle is a PixelAd Grid and is scheduled to begin on Sunday, 1st July 2007.

“If you enjoy puzzles and trivia nearly as much as you enjoy genealogy, then this may be the perfect chance for you to combine your interests and win up to $30,000 for solving our trivia puzzle.”

iFamily for Tiger 2.204

iFamily for Tiger 2.204 has been released.

New features :

• Context Diagram Navigation : Added navigation to the siblings of the Focal Person. When you right click on the Focal Person the pop-up menu now includes an option to promote any of the Focal Person’s siblings to be the new Focal Person of the diagram. The keyboard shortcuts for the previous and next siblings are Apple+UpArrow and Apple+DownArrow respectively.
• Picture Editor : Improved the cropping action when Portrait and Landscape modes are active.
• Attach Existing Person dialogs : Added a column for each person’s numeric identifier in the tables in each dialog.

Bug Fixes :

• In the Picture Editor the list of Other References sometimes contained a reference that did not actually exist. The error also occurred in the list of “Other References” in the pop-up menu in the Picture pane of the main window.
• After disconnecting a spouse you may have received an error message that “Core Data could not fulfill a fault”.
• iFamily for Tiger got confused when you used Undo immediately after using “Add Unconnected Person”.

More reasons to travel to Scotland & Ireland

Dublin's Shelbourne hotel has appointed a genealogy butler in a bid to lure high-spending American guests to the first lady of Dublin.

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has teamed up with genealogy expert Sheila Duffy to introduce Scotland’s first ever hotel Genealogy Concierge service for visitors to Scotland.

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15 June 2007

Korean War Project : Finding The Families

On May 15, 2001, the Korean War Project announced Finding The Families, an Internet based initiative to find several thousands families of servicemen Missing In Action from the Korean War.

Today, as tensions cool on the Korean peninsula, many remains of servicemen lost in the Korean War will eventually be repatriated to the United States. DNA samples are needed from these families in order to make it possible to attempt to identify remains found in the future.

Daughters of Eve in DNA paintings

Danish artist Ulla Plougmand-Turner has created portraits of the "Seven Daughters of Eve" using paint containing reconstructed ancient DNA. Ulla mixed sequences of ancient DNA, produced in an Oxford laboratory, into paint to create the images.

The pictures represent seven women, from whom it is thought the majority of Europeans can trace their DNA line. Described as "a fusion of science and art", the paintings went on exhibition on Monday at Wolfson College, Oxford.

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14 June 2007

PAF Insight 2007.6.13

PAF Insight 2007.6.13 has been released.

Fix :

• Fixes a problem on some computers, where PAF Insight was not opening from the tools menu in PAF 5.

Oldest photo lab of the world

Recent discovery of the abandoned darkroom used by amateur French photographer Fortuné Joseph Petiot-Groffier whose preservation will be handled by The Niépce House.

This lab is the oldest existing we know of at present (thanks to the receipts, the chemicals can be dated back as far as 1840-41).

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13 June 2007

DNA Insight Into America's Oldest Mystery

Decades before the founding of Jamestown and and the Pilgrims' arrival, English settlers built a colony at Roanoke in what is now North Carolina. For several years, it relied on supplies shipped from England -- but when a ship arrived in 1590 after a three-year interruption in supplies, Roanoke was utterly deserted. Carved cryptically on a tree was a word, Croatan, the name of a local Native American tribe.

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12 June 2007

Roots 2007

Join in the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Quebec Family History Society at Roots 2007.

This international conference on family history research will be held at Montreal's McGill University on June 15th, 16th & 17th 2007.

All events are open to the public and all lectures are in English.

Program and reservations at

11 June 2007

GEDmill 1.9.1

GEDmill 1.9.1 has been released.

Changes :

• Accept links other than “http” for the main site, for use when creating a CD-Rom.
• Improved ordering of events that have no date.
• Pictures attached to source citations now appear on source page.

Fixes :

• Fix for note record compatibility means more notes now appear.
• Fixed autorun.inf to point to the correct file on the CD-Rom.
• Fixed starting individual link for non Pro version.

Confucius family tree goes international

For the first time in two millennial, the overseas descendants of the great ancient philosopher Confucius will be included in the sage’s family tree.

More than 40,000 overseas descendants have been added to the Confucius Genealogy, which is now undergoing a fifth update and revision, said Kong Dewei, a Confucius descendant who is directing the updating work.

Most of them - 34,000 in all - are from the Republic of Korea, Kong said.

The figure also includes 400 from Taiwan, 100 from Hong Kong and 50 from the United States, he said.

Family trees are an important part of traditional Chinese culture. They record priceless historical information and represent a precious legacy for Chinese people.

The four previous versions of Confucius’ family tree only included his descendants on the Chinese mainland.

The new Confucius family tree will be published in 2009, on the 2560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius (551-479 BC), and will include more than 1.2 million new entries.

in Mathaba News

PAF Insight 2007.6.9

PAF Insight 2007.6.9 has been released.

Fixes :

• Fixes problem when editing an unrecognized place name in IGI Search.
• Fixes additional problem with some computers finding PAF5.

Postcards and Portraits

It's easy to find some the dates of birth, mariage and death of an ancestor who lived in the 19th century but what about his portrait and the place where he lived ? As always GeneaNet is interested in sharing the sources and you can access for free to the postcards database and the portrait gallery !

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The Immigrant Ancestors Project

The Immigrant Ancestors Project, sponsored by the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, uses emigration registers to locate information about the birthplaces of immigrants in their native countries, which is not found in the port registers and naturalization documents in the destination countries.

Volunteers working with scholars and researchers at Brigham Young University are creating a database of millions of immigrants based on these emigration registers.

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10 June 2007

Genmod 1.5 beta 1

Genmod 1.5 beta 1 has been released.

Changes :

• The menu layout has been replaced to give you more screen space.
• Security has also been improved to protect your valuable information.
• The general search has been given a power boost with the ability to search like Google. Use these operators (+, -, *, “”) to find better information.
• To get you off on a flying start the Quick Start has been introduced. This block is present on the welcome page and gives you the ability to search right way. Use the Google operators and find your relatives even faster.
• The routines have been revised and updated to make Genmod even quicker.

9 June 2007

Robot scans ancient manuscript in 3-D

After a thousand years stuck on a dusty library shelf, the oldest copy of Homer’s Iliad is about to go into digital circulation.

A team of scholars traveled to a medieval library in Venice to create an ultra-precise 3-D copy of the ancient manuscript - complete with every wrinkle, rip and imperfection - using a laser scanner mounted on a robot arm.

A high-resolution, 3-D copy of the entire 645-page parchment book, plus a searchable transcription, will be made available online under a Creative Commons license.

The Venetus A is the oldest existing copy of Homer’s Iliad and the primary source for all modern editions of the poem. It lives in Venice at the ancient Public Library of St. Mark. It is easily damaged. Few people have seen it. The last photographic copy was made in 1901.

I was lucky enough to see the manuscript when I went to Venice with my husband, Christopher Blackwell, who is part of a team organized by the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies to photograph and digitize the ancient book.

The idea is “to use our 3-D data to create a ‘virtual book’ showing the Venetus in its natural form, in a way that few scholars would ever be able to access,” says Matt Field, a University of Kentucky researcher who scanned the pages. “It’s not often that you see this kind of collaboration between the humanities and the technical fields.”

Venice is not the most convenient work site. All the gear had to come by boat and be carried or dragged up the stairs of the library. Built in the 1500s, the library has been renovated periodically, but its builders never envisioned a need for big lights, a motorized cradle, 17 computers or wireless internet.

The group set up shop in an upstairs room, using their own electrical cables and adapters to harness the library’s modest power resources. They covered the window overlooking the Piazzetta San Marco with a black sheet to keep out sunlight that could damage the manuscript. They placed the book, the size and weight of a giant dictionary, on a custom cradle that holds it steady, and turned the lights down low.

No more than four people were allowed in the room at one time, to keep down heat and humidity. The conservator turned each page with his hands and set it against a plastic bar, where light air suction held it in place. The barn doors covering the lights were flung open for the time it took the photographer to snap a shot with a 39-megapixel digital camera, a Hasselblad H1 medium-format camera with a Phase One P45 digital back. As each page was photographed, the classics scholar on duty in the hallway outside the workroom would examine its image to make sure all the text was legible.

Then Field scanned each page to create a 3-D image. Using an ordinary flatbed scanner was out of the question — it would flatten the delicate parchments. So Brent Seales, a computer scientist from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, decided to use a laser scanner on a robot arm to make a 3-D scan of the pages.

Passing about an inch from the surface, the laser rapidly scanned back and forth, painting the page with laser light. The robot arm knows precisely where in space its “hand” is, creating a precise map of each page as it scans. The data is fed into a CAD program that renders an image of the manuscript page with all its crinkles and undulations.

“The resolution yields millions of 3-D points per page,” Seales says.

To store the data, the team used a 1-terabyte redundant-disk storage system on a high-speed network. The classicists on duty backed up the data every evening on two 750-GB drives and on digital tape. Blackwell carried the hard drives home with him every night, rather than leave the data in the library.

The next step is making the images readable. The Venetus A is handwritten and contains ligatures and abbreviations that boggle most text-recognition software. So, this summer a group of graduate and undergraduate students of Greek will gather at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., to produce XML transcriptions of the text. Eventually, their work will be posted online for anyone to search, as part of the Homer Multitext Project.

in Wired

Reunion 9.05

Reunion 9.05 has been released.

New features :

• “Find on this Page” added to note fields, logs, and sources. This makes it easy to find words in long note fields, logs, and the free-form text field of source records.
• Repair multimedia links - a new feature to help you find and resolve broken multimedia links. See the new Repair button in: Reunion -> Preferences / Multimedia / Locations.
• “Paste as Plain Text” - a new menu item for pasting text in notes and logs that will strip text styles and colors from the pasted text.
• Enter source by number. If you’re familiar with your source numbers you can document the source of data even faster.
• Added the ability to search for “married name” in the Index and in the family card search box. Just use a dash before the name in the search box. For example, searching for “-clinton,hil” would find Hillary Clinton, even though her maiden name was Rodham.
• In Sibling popup menus, child status is appended to names of siblings.
• Picture windows - added more zoom choices when Control-clicking a picture window or using the Picture menu.

Changes :

• Enter Key - fixed a problem with the behavior of this key on certain PowerBook G4s.
• Ages window - Escape key closes the Options sheet.
• Ages window - opening/closing Options sheet properly restores the menu bar.
• Calendar window - the “Living Only” button changes to “Married Only” if Marriage is the selected event.
• Charts - added keyboard shortcuts for making bold and italic text in chart boxes.
• Charts - faster updating when all objects are selected and nudged using arrow keys.
• Charts - fixed some odd behavior with certain fonts.
• Charts - fixed some printing problems when printing to a single page (or creating PDF files) larger than 455 inches.
• Charts - Save Default Text Attributes is working properly.
• Charts - the previous orientation choice for descendant charts is remembered and applied to the next chart you create.
• CSS Web Styles- fixed some minor cosmetic problems and improved compatibility with Firefox and Explorer
• Image Quality- improved the quality of pictures on the family card, reports and web projects.
• Edit Parents window - fixed a cosmetic problem with showing results of edits.
• Editing - fixed a problem with deleting events and facts in the Edit Person and Edit Family windows.
• Family Card - corrected font size of title of a Note field when a non-default font was selected in Field Preferences for the Note field.
• Family Card - refreshed after deleting marked/unmarked people so that text “x marked people” is shown properly.
• Family Card - size of the child area on the family card is saved (this was a problem accidentally introduced in 9.04).
• File -> Save a Copy - “Exact copy” option wasn’t overwriting file of the same name.
• File -> Save a Copy - fixed a problem with the Return Address field in the Report Preferences when using the “Compact Copy” option.
• Find Anything / People searches - searching for hyphen in marriage dates works properly.
• Font Sizes - crossing platforms loses font sizes in prefs.
• GEDCOM Export - fixed sensitive data filtering for event memos.
• GEDCOM Import - added support for cross referenced marriage memos.
• Index - displaying ‘Married Name’ in the Index no longer confuses the ‘Spouse’ column.
• Index - fixed a problem with sorting and searching last names starting with “Mc”. NOTE: you must rebuild the Index to see this change. Choose Reunion -> Preferences / Index and click the Rebuild button.
• Initial Caps - fixed problem where Initial Caps was not applying to short first & middle names.
• List windows - sorting by the “Full Name” column works properly.
• Mailing Address Window - behavior of the Initial Caps and UPPERCASE buttons is no longer tied to Prefix Word settings in the Index Preferences.
• Mailing Address Reports - dividing lines are included when the Include Empty fields button is unchecked.
• Move Fields feature (in Field Preferences window) - added ability to move data to and from the “Misc Event” field.
• Pictures - improved the quality of reduced and cropped images in web output, on the family card, in the Multimedia window, in the Picture window, and in the Print Preview.
• Print Preview - fixed misc. problems with overlapping text, blank pages, page numbering.
• Reports, Register & Ahnentafel - marriage data properly included in narrative.
• Reports - Index and Surname pages in web output no longer force last names to uppercase.
• Reports - Color in notes is output properly in Person Sheets and Family Group Sheets.
• Reports - Color in RTF output no longer “bleeds” from one section to the title of the next section.
• Shortcut - Command+S clicks the Save button in Edit Spouses window and Custom Date window.
• Sibling popup menu - fixed a problem when a person’s parents are married to each other twice.
• Edit Source - fixed occasional crash when saving changes to a source.
• Source List - searching now ignores diacriticals.
• Upgrading - improvements when upgrading family files with extended characters.
• View popup menu in toolbar - Command key equivalents appear in the popup menu.
• Web Output - fixed a problem in notes with empty source reference when sources were not included.
• Web Output - fixed a linking problem with media files linked to sources.

GeneoTree 3.1

GeneoTree 3.1 has been released.

New features :

• Add a PDF Report ascendancy list.
• Generic : mask acts less than hundred years old.
• Generic : Excel exports where it is possible.
• Generic : print option Letter/A4.
• Generic : display males in blue & females in red.
• Ascendancy tree PDF Report : add 3 choices “implexe”, “All”, “US Letter”.
• Ascendancy tree PDF Report : add links in PDF report.
• Index card : Sosa number is displayed.

New technical feature :

• Ascendancy tree PDF Report : best performances.

Fix :

• Admin : default updates was failed in release 3.01.

MacFamilyTree 4.4.7

MacFamilyTree 4.4.7 has been released.

Changes :

• Distinctive Persons Report: The new report shows all persons with special events and other noteable things like very early or late marriages for example.
• The Family Summary Report shows the page number entered in the source selection dialog.
• The sources list can be sorted by the user.

7 June 2007

MemoryMiner 1.52

MemoryMiner 1.52 has been released.

Fixes :

• Fixed a problem with importing from iPhoto libraries whos photos are stored outside the iPhoto Library folder.
• Fixed the French and the Spanish localization.

5 June 2007

Second Site 2.0 Example Site

Second Site 2.0 will soon be released.

Everything we see in the Second Site 2.0 Example Site was created by “out of the box” features in Second Site 2.0 (SS2). There are no customizations : the site was configured by choosing options in the SS2 user interface.

The main design goal of SS2 was to reduce the need for custom Themes, and to make modifications easier to implement and maintain should they be necessary.

4 June 2007

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.48

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.48 has been released.

Changes :

• You can export/import latitude and longitude to/from gedcom files. The latitude and longitude fields are extra fields for each location when you double click a location name on the Edit screen.
• In addition to the fix below in 6.2.47 for alphabetical listing, it also fixes the problem if the husband has an alternate name and the wife has only the first name.
• The French translation now has “Evenement” instead of “Inventaire Apres Deces”. If you want “Inventaire Apres Deces” then add it as a custom event name.
• Fixed a bug regarding making a Register book with pictures and sending it to an RTF file for Word. In the special case where you have a child that has a picture, but has no events, you would sometimes get an error loading the RTF into Word that said “the document name or path is not valid.”

Personal Ancestry Writer II v70.1

Personal Ancestry Writer II v70.1 has been released.

Fix :

• Correcting a bug when writing a list of tagged people.

iFamily for Tiger 2.200

iFamily for Tiger 2.200 has been released.

New features :

• Context Diagram - Disconnect Person : The pop-up menu option in the context diagram for Disconnect Person has been reactivated - in the meantime please use the new main menu option People - Disconnect Person.
• Context Diagram - Font Size for Focal Person’s Children : When the Focal Person has many children the font size for his/her children is now larger.
• Events Editor Dialog : Corrected the position of the Event Type field when the dialog is resized. Also enlarged the field for Cause of Death.

• Add Unconnected Person : Minor enhancements to the dialog for Add Unconnected Person.
• Delete Person : Corrected an occasional freeze that occured after a person had been deleted. The freeze was reported by 3 people. It required a certain set of conditions to be present for the freeze to occur, otherwiae the Delete Person function was OK.
• Promote Focal Person : Added a menu option People -> Promote to Focal Person. This does the same as “Double click on any person in the context diagram” or “AppleKey+Click on any person in the context diagram” or “AppleKey+any Arrow key” or “Right click and select Promote” or “Using the toolbar Search Field” or “Using the toolbar Previous Focal People” or “Using the People Index and the Focal Person button”.
• Pictures Pane - Copy and Paste : Added a new pop-up menu option to copy any picture (as a thumbnail or original image) to the clipboard so it can be then pasted into another application such as a word processor. The clipboard data also includes a PasteboardType called “iFamilyPictureData” that contains textual data for the picture. (This textual data requires programming skills to access and be useful).
• Export to GEDCOM : Added option to export Focal Person + Descendants.
• Picture Editor : Added an option to set the cropping mode to: As Cropped, Square, Portrait 6 x 4, Portrait 4 x 3, Landscape 6 x 4 or Landscape 4 x 3.
• Picture Editor : Added controls for the thumbnail image for Sharpening, Exposure, Gamma, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, and Sepia.
• Picture Editor : Added rotation controls.
• Picture Editor : Corrected the handling of compressed image files.
• Import from GEDCOM : Added special handling for Heredis file names in OBJE links by ignoring the :images: prefix.
• Selection of Tabs in the Lower Pane of the Main Window : The lower pane in the main window can now be switched using keystrokes. Option+Apple+RightArrow selects the next tabview item and Option+Apple+LeftArrow selects the previous tabview item.

1 June 2007

Personal Ancestry Writer II v70

Personal Ancestry Writer II v70 has been released.

New feature :

• Further extending the format of a date with a range of years, the following enhancement was added : if the double years are more than a year apart and a day or month appears, such as in 15 July 1851/59, the event is assumed to fall on that date within that range of years, in this example on 15 July between 1851 and 1859 inclusively. This range will be displayed as “15 July bet 1851 and 1859″, “15 July between 1851 and 1859″ or “15 July 1851-9″ depending on context. It may also be entered in those formats.